One way to get ahead and stay ahead with your finances, and in the process build wealth, is to plan ahead for fun. What does that mean, you might be saying to yourself. Well, it means exactly what it says. Plan to have a good time in the future, and save money so you can do those things guilt free and within your budget.
Doing this is easy. It just takes a little self-discipline and an automatic savings plan. In no time you will be surprised with the amount of money you have saved up to spend in whatever reckless, enjoyable, completely fun manner you choose.
Automatic Savings Plan
One of the beauties of using ING Direct, or any other online savings plan, in addition to the extraordinary interest rates and ease of use, is the ability to automatically set a specific amount of money to be transferred from one account to the next. You can transfer as little or as much as you prefer, but it happens automatically, so you don't have to think about doing it, and more importantly, you barely notice it happens. In no time the deposit debit you see on your account will seem to be like any other purchase you have made. Essentially you are paying yourself.
Ryder Cup Savings Plan
I have a buddy that I play golf with who is from Wales. He is a great golfer, oozes Welsh, and is a good friend. When we found out that the Ryder Cup is going to be in Wales in 2010, we all decided we have to go and experience not only the Ryder Cup, but the Ryder Cup in Europe with a local tour guide. We plan on playing a lot of golf, watching a lot of golf, drinking a lot of "pints," mingling with the locals, and generally having a great time enjoying Wales and learning a little bit more about our friend.
There is only one small hiccup about this plan. It is going to cost about $5,000 to go and do it right. At this moment, I don't have any of the $5,000. It isn't really in my budget, wasn't really planned for, and so no money exists to pay for it.
To fix this problem I just created another account with ING called "Ryder Cup." It takes about 5 seconds to do when you already have an account, I put $10 in it, and I'm on my way to living it up in Wales. I plan on saving about $50 a month regularly (which I know won't get me to $5000 by 2010) and stashing away as much cash as I can in the account every chance I get. I should be able to reach my goal in time, and have what might be one of the best times of my life.
I'll keep you up to date on my progress, and will be sure to include some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Update - October 2010
The Ryder Cup started today and I'm not there. If anything, it was for lack of trying. I was lazy about saving, moved across the country, opened a new business, and the Ryder Cup just got pushed to the back burner. Here's to making it to the next Ryder Cup in Europe, four years from now...