Money Talks, So Should You

Travel Junkie: Don't let your inner child control your bank account

Katherine O'Meara
by Katherine O'Meara, Dimesprnig 30

At the urging of my mother, I recently opened up a mutual fund. Apparently my savings account was looking a tad too plump and needed some trimming down. Personally I can think of a thousand ways to spend that money, and it isn’t on things that I will have to wait patiently to enjoy. But once again, this is just my “wants” trying to overshadow my “needs.”

Often I feel like my “wants” can be imagined as a 5-year-old throwing a temper tantrum; they are hard to ignore. However, my mother is accustomed to dealing with bratty children and pushed forward.

READ: Interest-earning checking accounts

Being the saver and planner that she is, she pointed out the benefits of investing some of my money. Ideally I will be earning more than I could from simple interest alone, and it will keep the money safe from my careless spending. If the money stayed in my accessible account, the chances of me finding something to splurge on would grow exponentially. 

As a 20-something, it’s hard to think about what life will be like in 20 or 30 years. I assume, probably incorrectly, that in the next few years I will “find myself” and the perfect career, which will presumably come with a comfortable salary and untold benefits. I’ve always been optimistic.

But until that happens, or in case it doesn’t, my (somewhat) meager investment will grow into a little nest egg for my future. Since I currently suffer from wanderlust, I can’t imagine settling down, but I hear it can be quite nice, especially when you have some savings to get you started.

READ: Money Coach — Tend to your finances regularly 

Saving money is easy to preach but much more difficult in practice. Trying to put aside money on a tight budget is not easy. There are always those times when an unexpected expense means there’s nothing extra.

But then I remember the commercial with the couple who saved all their extra coins, or my more fiscally responsible friend in high school who put aside a dollar every day. Much like extra calories turn into pounds before you know it, those small additions can pay off over the months or years.

So for now, I will keep putting a little bit away whenever possible, and attempt to keep my inner 5-year-old self from pouting too much.

Katherine O’Meara is unable to turn down any chance for adventure. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, she can now be found teaching English in northern Spain. She does her best to balance her travel and shopping addictions with her desire to eat and pay her rent. Katherine is a member of the Dimespring 30, a community of bloggers sharing their thoughts, experiences and perspectives on personal finance.