24 July 2008

Tin Foil: Probably Not Just Generational

Small savings, not big finance. Setting aside for now the big topic of how boomers will survive in retirement without outstanding savings, I will disclose my own small savings. I mean, the really small savings.

Another version of tin foil. At least those of us on the upper end of the baby boom (the whole range is birth years 1946 to 1964) have a clear or vague memory of older relatives who developed Depression-era habits like saving every scrap of aluminum foil for re-use and every penny that came their way. I grew up associating their habits with the severe economic times that influenced their youth. If they did not feel the influence of the Depression, they surely experienced rationing during World War II. These events created savers. And then I hit my 50s and realized that I had a few non-logical savings schemes of my own. And I'm concluding that we humans are prone to tucking away small savings. History just highlights the tendency.

Small Savings #1: Stray coins go into a plastic gallon jug. Most recent cashing in was after 7 years: $438.

Small Savings #2: After years of happy banking I decided to trust the monthly tally in the household checking account. So, I quit balancing my register and started saving. I rounded all draws and all deposits to the nearest dollar. Check for $3.88? I entered it into my register as $4, creating a 12¢ savings and making register arithmetic very easy. Deposit of $84.50? I entered a deposit of $84, for a 50¢ savings. So, then I moved to $5 rounding. Check for $3.88 was thus an entry for $5, and deposit of $84.50 was recorded as $80. Now, without apology, I round to the 10. Check for $3.88 is recorded as minus $10. Deposit of $84.50 is $80. And so is a deposit of $89.99, which only occasionally irks me.

The savings instinct: This is not the financial behavior that will make baby boomers rich. It only makes us a lot like previous generations. ~ Lida

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

No comments: