Suicide by shortcut: denial, decoys or dedication

BY: Byron Moore, CFP®

posted July 9, 2018

Byron R. Moore, CFP

Byron R. Moore, CFP®

The problem with the conveniences of a shortcut are the consequences in the long-term.

Reese and Kyle were one of the 40% of first time home buyers who hadn’t saved any money (at all!) for a down-payment. What to do?

No problem! Crowdsourcing to the rescue! HomeFundMe showed them how to solicit donations from parents and friends (online, so it was cool) so they wouldn’t actually have to go through the yucky process of saving money.

Another option they had, according to the Wall Street Journal story about them, was borrowing the down-payment from Loftium. All they had to do was agree to rent out a room in their house on Airbnb and share the income.

Is it just me, or does anyone else remember what happened ten years ago when we let a lot of people buy houses with no skin in the game? What happens when hard times come and they cannot (or no longer wish to) make the mortgage payments? See ya!

Ten years ago it was sub-prime mortgages. Now its crowdsourcing and online room rentals that may take down the housing market (joke, people, that was a joke).

I’m honestly not nearly as concerned about the housing market as I am about the individual living in the house.

We are no longer a nation of savers. And that is not only a long-term problem for our country, it is also a problem for her citizens.

People that don’t save, suffer. The suffering may be delayed or diluted, but it’s coming.

Some are in denial. Some are simply in denial about their own lack of a savings habit. I just absolutely cannot save. No way. Times are too tough. I’m on the wrong side of income inequality. Health insurance is too expensive. My car is old. My car is new.

Besides, I’ve got to pay for my smartphone, premium cable, I eat most meals out, Disney is just too awesome to not go again this year and our kids absolutely must be in private school and go to summer camp.

Some have fallen for a decoy. Save money? Sure, I save money. I have $25 deducted from my paycheck each month and put into my credit union.

What happens to that money? Well, I usually have to pay my car insurance with it, or sometimes I use it for Christmas.

If the above sounds like you, you’ve fallen for a decoy. While you may meet the technical definition of saving money, you’re really just deferring spending over the short term.

Real saving is serious, aimed at long-term wealth-building and takes commitment.

A few have dedication.   Americans currently save about 3% of their income. About 40% of Americans with debt are spending up to half of their monthly income paying it back.

What if you could get on a path to flip that? What if over a 10-year period you could whittle the debt service down from 25% to 50% of your income to 3% (or even 0!). And at the same time, you turned a wimpy, insufficient 3% savings rate into to 20% or 30% savings rate?

If you don’t save money now, that probably sounds like a dream. And for some it may be. But for others, it could just be possible.

It’s all about having a plan and a strategy.

The secret is changing places with the lenders in your life, so that over time you can become your own lender. It’s about re-capturing your cashflow by telling your money where to go, instead of everyone else telling you where your dollars will go.

If you’d like a copy of my Get out of Debt and Re-capture Your Cash Flow strategy summary, just email me (bmoore@argentadvisors.com) and I’ll send you a copy free.

You can live in denial about having no savings. You can substitute a decoy for real savings. Or you can dedicate yourself to designing and deploying a plan that gradually changes the direction of your dollars away from you and back into your own pocket.

Argent Advisors, Inc. is an SEC registered investment adviser. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request. Please See Important Disclosure Information at http://www.ruston.argentadvisors.com/important-consumer-disclosure

Sources:
• “No savings? No problem.” Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2018
• https://www.fool.com/saving/2016/10/03/heres-the-average-americans-savings-rate.aspx
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/40-of-americans-spend-half-of-their-income-servicing-debt-2017-04-27

About

Argent Financial Group

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Argent Financial Group (Argent) is a leading, independent, fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $30 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, businesses and institutions with a broad range of wealth management services, including trust and estate administration, investment management, ESOPs, retirement plan consulting, funeral and cemetery trusts, charitable organization administration, oil and gas (mineral) management and other unique financial services. Headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, Argent was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930.

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