One of my mentors from many years ago used to have an expression: “No one has a monopoly on the great ideas.” This was a reminder that we can learn from everyone. Friends. Family. Children. Employers. Employees. Strangers. Associates. Competitors. Anyone and Everyone.
But he also reminded me that learning requires listening.
Knowing this, I am always listening for the next great idea. And in a recent meeting with a client, I heard a great idea. When I hear a great idea, I always ask the source if I can steal it…and this time was no different.
I stole the idea of saving “the savings.”
My client and his spouse review their receipts from the grocery store and look at the bottom where it says “You have saved this amount.” They take that amount of money and put it away in savings. What a great idea! This is, after all, a reward for being a great shopper. They could have shopped somewhere else and not saved money by using their rewards card or coupons. But because they were smart shoppers, they saved money. And they continue to save. Over time those savings accumulate and can be used for other wants or needs.
It is like those people who save their change at the end of the day. Or those who payroll deduct their savings into their credit union account. Or those who have their investing done systematically from their checking account. Anything that is fun. Anything that is easy.
According to a March 2015 article in USA Today, one-third of Americans have no savings and 47% of Americans have enough money to pay for only 90 days of living expenses. At the same time, a study by the Bureau of Labor says when people lose their jobs, the average length of unemployment will be 31.7 weeks.
So let’s save “the savings” from the grocery store, the gas station, the pharmacy, and anywhere else that lets us know how much we have saved that day. Life has a way of costing money when we least expect it, and saving “the savings” may just save the day. What a great idea!