Have Your Cake… and Eat It, Too.

I ate the cake.

With four young children, two girl scouts (damn you, thin mints!), two kids that have caught the dessert making bug and a wife that is a terrific baker, my house is constantly full of delicious, sweet treats.  I often slide cookies/brownies/etc. around on the counter just to get to the coffee maker.

So there I was a few nights ago, trying hard to stick to my “no sweets through Easter” New Years Resolution, when my 10 year old daughter Maye brought out a chocolate cake.  

My nemesis.  My dark master.

A few minutes later, a piece or two were in my belly.  

I found myself wishing I just had some kind of “guard rails” that would keep me on track.  An automated system that took the cake away before I ever even saw it.  Will Power that didn’t rely on my own “will”.

I don’t have any of those for my diet, but fortunately I have all of them for saving money.

The hardest part about saving money is the actual saving part.  Both literally and figuratively, it can be difficult to move money from one account to another.

I do this for a living, and if I had to write a check every two weeks in order to fund savings? Guess which check is never being written.

That’s why I love 401ks and employer sponsored retirement plans.  You make the decision one time, and the money comes out before you even see it.  

But even for individual planning, automation is key.  My life insurance and emergency savings are drafted from my bank account on every pay day.  I never see those dollars in my checking, but I sure see them in my planning.

Life is hard and expensive, but we can’t afford not to save.  Make sure you pay yourself first.  Pick a plan (or two) and make it easy.  

Use guard rails.  They’ll make sure you stay on the path to the future you want and deserve.

Now excuse me while I go do sit ups. 

Who am I kidding?  Maybe next year…….

 | Jay Kenerly, ChFC, AIF