Six Minute Abs
By Thomas Wynn
As one of our greatest philosophers, Alecia Beth Moor*, once said, “I’m coming out, so we’d better get this party started.”
Let’s say in the last month you overcame the myriad distractions, of family, work, the Olympics and social media. You flossed every day, did morning yoga, after work cardio and managed to organize your finances. It could happen.
In this fantasy world you now have a family budget. In Santa Cruz, the most likely outcome is that after expenses, there is precious little left over for savings. I can’t really change the reality of the high cost of living in Santa Cruz combined with decades of slow wage growth. You’ll have to go to editorial page for solutions to that problem.
But let’s say, for the sake of argument that there appears to be some possible savings. Maybe the restaurant bill could be trimmed, a few less Amazon purchases or planning to take less expensive vacations closer to home. These are a few expenses that our family was able to trim.
Like getting in shape, there are no shortcuts. You either build a routine, that through repetition, becomes a habit, or you don’t. There is no “secret” or “tricks” or “hacks” that magically transform your waistline – or your savings account.
At the end of the day, there are no “6-minute abs”. For most of us, the only six pack we see is in the fridge, not the mirror. If you decide your goal is to save for retirement, college or some other goal, you’re going to have to work for it. Make some goals, schedule your financial workout, make it part of your routine and build a habit.
Let’s not get crazy though. We all have to balance the desires and demands of the present against the desires and demands of the future. There should be a balance between enjoying the fruits of your labor now and delaying some gratification for future savings.
Remember too that money doesn’t buy happiness, it only rents it. Gratitude for what we have, our health, our family, our friends, our hobbies and where we get to live, is more likely to provide the emotional foundation for our happiness.
If you want to get in shape, you can do it. If you want to slowly improve your savings, it can be done, just not in six minutes.
◊ Thomas Wynn is a professional trader, investment advisor and financial planner. Thomas worked on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange from 1981 to 1996. Thomas started Wynn Capital in 2003. Thomas is a delusional basketball player, dangerous table tennis player, below average guitar player and owns a record player.