George S. Clason wrote The Richest Man in Babylon to teach basic money saving/wealth-building techniques through the art of parable. It’s a great book and should be required reading in school, as far as I’m concerned.
Another way to teach people about saving money is to storm them on the streets of San Francisco and stick them into an impromptu game show hosted by me, which I did recently. Every Wednesday, the Capital One folkses will be highlighting a different, 4 min episode of “Save Our Savers,” the short-form show they asked me to host for them. Remember how we talked about this before? Today’s ep has a freaking ONE MAN BAND guy in it.
Here’s the link–> http://bit.ly/aw6kke
Game shows and sponsorships aside, the basic message is very important and one that I hope you take seriously: SAVE. YOUR. MONEY. At least some of it. Whenever you get paid, kick some percentage of it into a savings account, no matter how small. It will grow before you know it. OF COURSE it’s fun to just buy crap, and I spend a lot of time telling you about cool crap to buy–just make sure you can afford it.
My dad does a great thing that I’ve always admired: he pre-pays all of his vacations. It takes a little planning, but he sets up a fund wherein instead of saving x% of his monthly income, he saves x% – a little for the vacation. It may not sound as romantic as the spontaneous cash drop that I, myself, have been guilty of in the past, but by the time he’s ready to leave he has absolutely no worries about his excursion and he can enjoy the trip on every level.
Saving up also teaches you discipline and gives you a sense of reward, and those things last longer emotionally than binge-spending. I promise!
1) save a little each time you get paid
2) try pre-paying things you want in small increments in advance
I heart you.