Someday: The Most Dangerous Word in Personal Finance
Someday. It's a code word for "never."
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Someday, I will start saving. Someday, I will open that retirement account. Someday, I will take control of my finances. Someday...the most dangerous word in personal finance. As the old adage says, "Don't put off what you can do today!"
Someday is for a future we can't predict
We are the worst at predicting the future. It's not our fault. We are ruled by emotions that constantly fluctuate. We have busy lives. We are constantly getting pulled in many directions. Someday is for a future that we can't predict, BUT it's for a future that statistically many of us will all have. Regardless of our age, income, and where are are in the world today, we can predict that majority of us will grow old. We can predict that we may not want to work. We can predict that our bodies will age. This is certainty. This is something we can help plan for. Someday exists and it's up to us to ensure that our future selves are cared for when that someday comes.
Instead of someday, look at the statistics. We would all like to think that we are above average, but I hate to break the bubble on this, but many of us including me are average people. The people in the outliers are just that outliers. Stop thinking of someday and start living like an outlier.
Someday is an open timeline
Someday is open ended. No start date. No end date. This is dangerous. With no timeline, we always think we have tomorrow. And yes, for many of us tomorrow will exist, but at what cost. What opportunities have we lost without a plan.
Someday feels comforting because you can throw it out into the air with the hopes that you will catch it. Instead of doing that, jot down instead what you want to do. You don't need to have a time attached to everything, but the best way to really understand what's possible today and someday is to break down your goals. Do you know what's easy? Do you know what's hard? Do you know what will take time? Saving money takes time, but saving for a vacation takes a few months. With clearer goals, you'll be more apt to stop thinking of someday and start thinking of next year. Next year is 6 months away and this means you need to focus you and your money towards that.
Someday has no accountability
It's funny how we have so many inner voices in our head, yet we ignore that one's that really matter. Someday is dangerous because accountability can be hidden. We don't have to share our finances. We can live in silence, live in secrecy, live in fear, live in doubt without a single person knowing.
This is part of the reason I wanted to start Sisters for FI. I want to encourage all of you to find someone to talk to, to share your concerns. It can be an expert, it can be a friend, it can be anyone as long as they don't judge you, blame you or shame you for what's already been done. Find someone who will support you in your journey to FI. It's a journey, not a sprint and there's going to be ups and downs along the way. Forget someday and take it one day, one meeting, one blog post at a time.
We recently had our first Sisters for FI Meetup in real life and it was great to see women opening up, asking the questions. While we didn't have all of the answers, sparking that FI idea was a start.
If you are in NJ and are interested in meeting with like minded women, head to our Meetup page.
If you want to start your own meetup, let us know at info[at]sistersforfi.com.
If you want to join a global community, head to the Sisters for FI Facebook Group.
If you want one-on-one coaching, check out our services.