When I was a kid my dad would talk to me about money. It was usually unsolicited advice. You know the kind.
The advice he would give was the same advice his father had given to him when my dad was a kid. It was more of a question.
“When is the best time to plant a tree?” he would ask. I had never planted a tree so I didn’t know. Then he’d answer “Yesterday.” I would think, “Great I’m already behind.” Then he would ask, “When is the second best time to plant a tree?” And he’d answer, “Today.” And I would think, “But I have a baseball game.”
Thinking back on his advice this morning I remember that it definitely made sense about the tree but it definitely was not a motivational speech. Talk about feeling like you’re behind the eight ball. And I didn’t have much money so the tree wasn’t getting planted even after baseball.
Now that I think about it, the whole idea of saving and investing isn’t a whole lot of fun, especially when you’re a kid. I’ve tried to teach my kids about compound interest. We opened bank accounts at Bank Newport. But when the statements come in there’s not much to teach about the importance of interest earning interest.
But the act of saving is an important lesson all by itself. And compound interest—when it actually does its magic—is fun. A whole lot of fun.
Teach someone you love about the importance of beating inertia by saving money—and they’ll never forget you.