“If you don’t start saving your money when you’re young, you’re going to die impoverished, overworked, and alone!” says every personal finance blogger ever to young people just starting out in the world.
Back when I lived in a hippie commune with approximately nine humans and 37 dogs, I would bike to the library on a regular basis to keep myself in reading material without spending all of my meager paycheck on books. As I was leaving one day, I asked one of my roommates if she wanted me to pick up anything at the library for her. Her response: “Is it free?”
Is it free? Is it free?
Too lazy to set up your 401k? Too afraid of the paperwork? Feel like you’d rather use that money on stuff right now? Well buck up, son, because I’m about to tell you why you can’t afford not to use your retirement plan.
Sometimes you don’t have enough money in the bank to buy stuff, so you borrow money to buy the stuff. But if you have some money, it is always better to use it to pay for part of the stuff than to borrow all the money you need to buy the stuff.
In an ideal world, we’d all pay for expensive things like cars and houses and a college education with the money that we already have. But unless you have a Scrooge McDuckian money vault at your disposal, paying cash in full for a car or house or bachelor’s degree feels nigh impossible.