A young woman got married at the age of eighteen (like her mother had and her grandmother and all the other women in her family before her). She had five kids in quick succession. “And when the oldest child was ten, and the youngest was three months old, this woman’s husband left her.” (E. Gilbert)
To make a long story short, her heart was broken and she cried in despair. But then – that very day that she realized her husband was not coming back – she decided that the vision of her being poor and pathetic for the rest of her life was not to be. She was going to see the world someday.
The woman decided to save $1 every single day. It was not to be touched under any circumstances. This was her promise to herself. It was not emergency money.
She saved $1 every day for twenty years, filling many coffee cans.
And when the last child left the house, she went on a cargo ship (it was the least expensive way to cruise around the world). It stopped every few days and she’d disembark and see a new country.
I am a fan of Suze Orman. I take satisfaction in her uncensored and liberal judgment: “Denied!” Let’s face it, callers voluntarily provide her personal financial information and then ASK for her opinion. I love that she provides a quick (yet thorough enough) analysis and then passionately approves or denies the caller’s dream.
Watching Ms. Orman’s face as the caller describes the “elf” school she wants to attend (below) is priceless.
“An act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” Dictionary.com
We don’t hesitate to put a portion of our income into investment vehicles because we have faith that making the sacrifice will pay off in the future.
We don’t hesitate to enroll our children in music or sports because we know that the payoff will be great.
We don’t hesitate to support our spouses by cooking healthy meals, lending an ear and giving words of encouragement.
When it comes to paying tuition, taking the courses for a degree or going for that dream job, mothers tend to look at the cost to the family and consider it too “expensive.” They say, “Not now, it’s not the right time.” Moms often don’t look at it as investment for the self.
I was talking to a good friend of mine who told me about her “dream job.” This job is just one rung away. She’s hard-working, super smart and talented. She just needs to take a test and pass it. Taking the test costs a fee. “Well, I think I should wait until the job becomes vacant. Then I’ll take the test. I don’t know that it’s a wise use of money right now.”
Have you ever heard a man say that?
Invest in yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s your obligation.