When you think about it, opening up an investment account, monitoring your credit cards, and tracking your spending is a pretty big hassle.
But I want to give you an example of why it’s important to get the right habits now, while you’re young:
In my classes, I tell people the difference between checking and savings accounts at your bank (basically, savings accounts pay interest). The implication is that you should keep the majority of your discretionary (non-investment) money in savings, transferring money to your checking account as necessary–to pay bills, etc.
“But Ramit,” they always say, “it’s not worth all the trouble. I only have $500 in my savings account so I’m hardly making anything on interest? Why should I bothet transferring money back and forth? It’s only a few pennies per month so I might as well leave it all in checking.”
Wow. That person’s question uses language remarkably similar to my own. Anyway, there’s one good reason that it makes sense to pay attention to these little details:
Your habits won’t magically change when you have a million dollars, so you have to get them right now.
You won’t magically start transferring money back and forth when you’re rich.
You won’t magically start monitoring your budget when you’re rich.
You won’t magically save enough when you’re rich.
And even if you do magically start, if you make a mistake with $1 million, it might cost you thousands of dollars. Compare that to now, where a mistake might cost you $0.50.
Start now. Get your habits right. Even though it’s only a couple of dollars per month, you’re investing in your own habits.
Update: This post generated a lot of comments, so I posted one of the best online. Check out David Thinks I’m Wrong.