Leadership is a famously difficult duty.
Whether you want to become the big shot or you’re already the boss, you’ve got work ahead of you. Let’s look at our most famous leaders and their motivating guidance. These inspiring leadership quotes are sure to illuminate your road ahead.
Leadership is Learning
While leadership styles vary, the core characteristics of effective leadership do not. For example, many famous leaders place an extra emphasis on education.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” -John F. Kennedy
Perhaps this quote is so often recited because JFK didn’t say it. He wrote it and was scheduled to say it during a speech on November 22, 1963. That speech never came, and the rest is history.
But Kennedy’s words are alive and well. Leadership often takes place at the cutting edge, as a new territory gets explored. Launching into new space requires bountiful curiosity and the ability to learn.
Just think about it! In 1900, an engineer said, “Now Abel, I want you to dismount your horse and give this motor carriage a try. Mind the bumps!”
Sixty years later, that same kind of engineer said, “Now Neil, we’re gonna strap you real tight to this aluminum tube full of explosives. But don’t worry. We’ve already got the coordinates for the Moon typed into the GPS.”
Wait…that’s not how GPS works…
The Audacity to Learn
Enough digression! The point is, it takes major league audacity–from individuals, organizations, or entire societies–to make that kind of technological leap in 60 years. Innovation distinguishes the lead group from those behind.
JFK would go on to write that “ignorance and misinformation can handicap…progress.” It’s now 57 years after he said that, but I’d say he hit the nail on the head. The importance of learning is that it acts as armor against ignorance and allows us to discern real facts from fake. Learning yields progress for the individual and the group.
Knowledge is a magical resource. Why? It can be given away ad infinitum, yet still, be retained by the owner. Leaders are generous in this way. Leaders want to learn and want others to understand. It’s the main reason I love writing detailed breakdowns of complex topics (e.g., what happened during the Big Short, anyway?)
When I ask you to envision a true leader, is she enlightened or in the dark? Does he fight adversity with wisdom or with ignorance? Does she let her intellect guide her? Is he a slave to emotion?
The fact is, leaders are always willing to learn. A curious and open mind is what earns the respect of their followers.
“It is necessary for us to learn from others’ mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself.”— Admiral Hyman G. Rickover
This quote is impressive because of its simplicity. It’s just basic math and the logistics that follow. There have been hundreds of generations of humans before you. Those billions of people have screwed up in various ways–we all know it happens. You can choose to use their mistakes as a starting point, or you can put on blinders.
If you want to lead–to be at the cutting edge–then you cannot afford to repeat the mistakes that others have already made. The cutting edge has no room for error.
Mistakes –> Learning
At best, repeating previous mistakes is a waste of time. At worst…well, I’ll leave it up to your imagination.
You’ve got to learn from others’ mistakes. The keyword is learn. This leadership quote is just like that saying, “Those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.”
If you’re scientifically inclined, you could even think about this quote through the lens of natural selection. Successes are selected, whereas failures are not. Therefore, avoid the behaviors that lead to failure. If not, they might lead to failure again, and you might be the one that ends up not being selected.
“I am still learning.” -Michelangelo
I don’t know if Michelangelo was a leader of people. But he was a leader of culture, and amazingly still is 450 years after his death.
Perhaps you know him by his sculpture? He’s known for the beautiful range of work that is still on display across the internet and in museums.
It’s more likely that you know Michelangelo because of the Sistine Chapel. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also 133 by 46 feet in size: one man, four years, and one wonder of the world.
He was also an illustrator, architect, and poet. Michelangelo (along with Leonardo da Vinci) is the reason for the term “Renaissance man.” Michelangelo wasn’t a Renaissance man – he was the Renaissance man. That’s him!
The Best Still Get Better
I don’t mean to worship the guy, but I want to properly explain just how talented, experienced, and learned Michelangelo was. When he says, “I am still learning,” it carries extra weight. It’s like the leadership quotes you might see from world-class athletes who say, “I still practice.”
Michelangelo likely became who he was because he was always learning. It only makes sense that he maintained that attitude even after he “reached the top.” That’s a leadership quality worth emulating.
Leadership is Action
While leaders shouldn’t be rash, they also can’t afford to be indecisive. Leaders lead. Leaders act.
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” -John Maxwell
The one has that Goldilocks “magic of three” vibe to it. You don’t want to be too “this” or too “that.” You’ve got the be just right. The more time I spend in this world, the more I think this quote is a home run.
Talk is easy. Complaining about a situation or expressing hope for change is low effort. Anyone can do it, and just about everyone does do it. Leadership, however, is not a low effort task.
Leadership requires action. A leader identifies when the winds are changing, understands how the new gusts affect them, and works towards saving the boat. Heck, sometimes those winds even propel the ship faster than ever before!
When Life Throws You Lemons
I talked about this idea in one of my first articles after the COVID-19 pandemic came to American shores. Take what life gives you and prepare for what’s next. The Stockdale Paradox would tell us that you have to balance hope with the stern ability to face present-day facts. That is Stockdale’s version of “adjusting the sails.”
I’m also reminded of the story of two Chicago programmers working on solving problems for apartments.com.
After many late nights debugging code, they realized that their primary problem had changed. Apartment searches were easy compared to the issues they were having with quality late-night take-out food. As funny as that problem is, it’s what inspired Matt Maloney and Mike Evans to start GrubHub. Their winds changed, and they adjusted their sails.
“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” –Publilius Syrus
Another boat metaphor? I know, I know. But it makes sense. Boats need captains. Good boats need good captains. And good captains are good leaders.
My youth baseball team had a captain that became a complete tyrant at the slightest hint of unrest. He found it easy to be our “leader” when everything was going according to his plan. That’s because the sea was calm. But a ripple of discord would rip his hands from the helm as he lost his cool. That’s not real leadership.
When the Going Gets Tough
A good leader, on the other hand, stays in control even when the surf gets choppy. And that means that leaders sometimes make tough decisions i.e., when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
As you see, your star rise into a leadership role, remember that it’s often these challenging situations that will define you as a leader. A true leader is forged in the heat of difficulty.
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” –Abraham Lincoln
If the world was full of middle managers, then who would make the coffee?
Not everyone can be a leader at all times. There’s another oft-repeated quote along these lines: “a good leader can be a good follower,” or “a good leader knows when to follow.” Honest Abe is highlighting this idea. Even if you find yourself in a “follower” position, be good at what you do. That’s what a leader does.
Show Me Your Chops!
Just imagine someone who would try to convince you, “I will only put effort into any team in my life if I’m the unquestioned leader.”
One of the many natural responses I’d have is, “Do you have the chops? Where’s the proof?” In other words: good leaders put in the legwork.
Be good at the entry-level position until you’re given small responsibilities. Be good at taking notes until you start running the meeting. Work your butt off on the JV team until they have no choice but promote you to varsity.
There will be many steps in your journey, and you will not be at the front of the line for most of them.
Leadership is About Others
What good is a general with no soldiers? A leader takes people and lets them do the most extraordinary things. A good leader is nothing without the people who follow their lead.
“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” –Seth Godin
Leadership–especially in modern times–involves the network effect. The capability of everyone far outweighs the ability of a single person.
Great leaders attract great people, and then let those great people spread their wings (and their ideas). One of my first bosses micromanaged me through every task–even mundane chores like ordering paper supplies. I’ll never forget that feeling. Any potential I had was cramped inside a tiny cage.
A genuine leader props up those around them. Seth Godin’s writing is all about unlocking people’s potential. That’s what this leadership quote is all about.
“You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.” –Jeanette Rankin
Of all the leadership quotes here, Jeanette Rankin’s reminds me of “the single most important trait” for a person to have (that’s a Gary Vaynerchuk claim). What trait? Emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence involves the ability to control and express one’s emotions but also to “handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” The second half of this definition is a prerequisite of good leadership, according to Rankin.
When to Pump the Brakes
That is one of the many challenges of leadership. You cannot drive your team to exhaustion. But you can’t be so soft as to under-perform the team’s expectations. People feel satisfaction from exploring their limits, but animus multiplies when those limits aren’t respected.
The emotionally intelligent leader is thinking about the personal development of those around them.
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists…when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say: We did it ourselves.” -Lao Tzu
A young child writes out the entire alphabet for the first time and proudly exclaims, “I did it!”
Of course, we know that child got lots of help across the spectrum of his little life. Timmy didn’t synthesize the alphabet on his own accord. He was taught, he was led, and he had weeks of error-filled practice.
But as good parents and teachers, we want our children to know that they are capable on their own. You did it, Timmy!
From Small Kids to Muscled Men
True leaders empower those around them to become better. They share recognition with their team. It’s not just with children. You’ve seen this before–it happens in every single sports interview ever.
“Well Jim, I couldn’t have done it without the other guys out there. They did all the hard work in the trenches. They set the pins up, all I had to do was knock them down. It was a team effort.”
While I’m tired of every sports interview containing these same platitudes, I understand why they’re (over) used. Deferring the credit to your team is part of being a leader.
That’s why I just want to stay focused on the fundamentals. I’ve got to cross my T’s and dot the I’s. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m taking these best leadership quotes one at a time.
Leadership is Ethical
Above all else, leaders do the right thing, especially when it’s also the hard thing.
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” —Kurt Vonnegut
Out of all the leadership quotes here, this one stopped me in my tracks.
Kurt Vonnegut is suggesting that our personalities are not innate, but rather are learned behaviors formed by habit. And those formative actions are, essentially, small performances of pretending. We pretend and pretend and pretend, and suddenly it doesn’t quite feel like pretend anymore. It just is. We become what we’ve pretended to be.
We aren’t born mean, friendly, timid, or courageous. Instead, we’re born as the proverbial lump of clay, waiting to be molded. As we mature, the clay is formed in a certain direction via the actions we choose to take.
But even adults who claim to be “stuck in their ways” still possess that malleability. They are merely pretending to be stubborn old dogs. They’re pretending refusal to learn new tricks.
That’s Not Really Who I Am
As a leader, you might face a situation where you feel like acting like a tyrant. Of course, you tell yourself, you’re not a tyrant; you’re just acting like one in this situation. This is the exact scenario that Vonnegut would caution against. It’s all too easy for acting to supplant reality. Life is too short–memento mori–to pretend to be a tyrant.
We can view this leadership quote from another point of view. Namely, there’s the version of you that you see, but there’s also the version of you that everyone else sees.
If you want to lead, you’ve got to show everyone else that you’re a leader. It might not come naturally to you, and that’s ok. Try to take the actions that a good leader would take. While you might see leadership potential inside you, you’ve got to make sure that others see it too.
Even if it feels like pretend at first, you’ll soon be a true leader.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.” –Peter F. Drucker
Who’s a leader in your life right now? For many, the answer could be your manager at work. But Peter Drucker is asking us to consider the fact that management and leadership can be exclusive of one another. While the two are often intertwined, there’s an important distinction.
Management is procedural. It’s about spellchecking your essay. It’s ensuring that the cogs are meshing as expected, so the whole machine functions with efficiency. Management considers the “resource” in “human resources.”
Leadership is moral. Leaders look for meaning in the essay. They consider the cogs as they exist outside of the machine, perhaps even calling into question the machine itself. Leaders put the human first.
Separate “Management” from “Leadership”
Perhaps you’re looking for a promotion at work. You want to become a program manager, a shift supervisor, or a VP of blogging. I’m right there with you! But I think it’s important to understand the difference between effective management and effective leadership.
It’s certainly easier to become a manager if you’re already seen as a leader, just as it’s easier to share your leadership skills if you’re given a managerial position. But the two should still be seen as mutually exclusive. It’s possible–and impressive!–to become a leader without being any sort of manager.
So use this leadership quote to ask yourself, “Leadership or management…which role are you truly aiming for?”
“The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man . . . It is more powerful than external circumstances.”— Seneca
Seneca is considered one of the original Stoics. Just like all things hipster, stoicism is back in style. And why shouldn’t stoicism be popular?! This leadership quote is the perfect example of how stoicism promotes the same mindsets that we associate with effective figureheads.
A good leader–whether man or woman, Mr. Seneca–does not let adverse conditions harm their psyche. A leader is a person who faces disaster with a steely gaze and an iron will.
We’ve seen this countless times in history. Why are Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln considered timeless leaders? Mainly for their calm decision-making during embattled eras.
Why are Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi still revered civil rights activists? Because they let their moral compass guide them, even as their rulers (managers, not necessarily leaders) tried to hinder those paths. Societal pressure was no match for their mindset.
But Leaders Aren’t Perfect
Churchill, Lincoln, King, and Gandhi were all far from perfect, by the way. Leaders aren’t perfect. Who is? I know the separation of leadership from faultlessness is something I’ve struggled with. Perhaps you have too.
How can I be a leader if I don’t have all the answers, don’t have all the experience, don’t have all the skills? While knowledge and experience are certainly important, there will always be a new situation to make you feel like a foolish greenhorn. It takes bravery to grab the wheel despite your flaws and confidently point your boat into the crest of the wave.
There are a few more I couldn’t leave off the list
- “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who loved semi-colons.
- “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” —Max de Pree
- “The mind must be trained, rather than the memory.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
- “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” —Steve Jobs
- “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” —Theodore Roosevelt
- “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” —Ronald Reagan
- “Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do.” —Warren Bennis
- “Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be” —Jack Welch
- “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; kind, but not weak; bold, but not bully; thoughtful, but not lazy; humble, but not timid; proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” —Jim Rohn
- “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.” —Andrew Carnegie
While I’m sure there are dozens of worthwhile leadership qualities–and even more worthy leadership quotes–I think a focus on learning, action, people, and ethics will give you the foundation to be an effective leader. It’s just like John Quincy Adams said:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
I trust that today’s leadership quotes left you with a little more inspiration than when you started. Lead on!
Future inheritance.. need help!
Hey all, i’m a 22yr old living in the US. I’ll start off by saying that I have no current debt, credit score is 785, currently don’t have a job and don’t have much saved.
This might be long but i’ll try to make this as short as I can. I’ve lived with my mom, lil brother, and grandparents pretty much my whole life. Mom had a very bad drug addiction, decided to move out with my girlfriend when I was 18. The following year my mother happens to pass due to overdose, she didn’t have any money to her name so no assets were given. 3 months later my grandma passed away from lung cancer and all her assets were transferred to my grandpa. My grandpa had throat cancer 10 years ago and had to get his voice box removed, so now he breathes through his neck stoma. My girlfriend and I decided to move back home a few years ago to help support and take care of my grandpa (pretty much his care taker) and my little brother (his dad is barely in his life). As time has progressed, my grandpa is having breathing issues and can’t get around as easy anymore. I’m now worried that something will happen in the near future and i’m a little lost when it comes to the assets he has.
My grandpa has a will set up for me and my brother to split everything 50/50 and I’m the primary beneficiary, he said that I will have control of his part of the assets until he is 21 (he’s 14 now). Paperwork and everything is already signed. He will be passing on the house that we currently live in and all of his stocks.
The mortgage for the house is paid off, and there are two IRA accounts. The house is worth about $400,000. I believe the first is a traditional IRA with a little over $300,000 in it. The second is an IRA Roth with about $100,000. We have a “money manager” through JP Morgan who manages all of the stocks, and my grandpa has it set up so that he receives $1,000 a month from it.
Now I have multiple questions. I know the market is up and down everyday, but say that the current assets were to be passed on..
• Will I take over his current IRA accounts or will I have to create my own and transfer the funds to that?
• Do I have to withdraw the money by a certain time point or can I just let it sit?
• When filing taxes at the end of the year, will I owe anything since I would be coming into a lump some of money?
• How much would be taken out in taxes when it is distributed to us?
• When filing taxes at the end of the year, will I owe anything since I would be coming into a lump some of money? Also what tax bracket would I be in?
• Should I keep the money manager and keep the current ways that my grandpa has set up?
• My brother and I have agreed to keep the house but we would like to renovate it when the time comes. Say the renovation will cost $50,000. Would I take $64,000 out of the traditional IRA (withhold $14,000 for taxes) or take the money out of the IRA roth so it’s tax free?
I know this is quite a bit and I feel as if I have a huge weight on my shoulders, but i’m trying to have a better understanding of how this works..
Thanks to all in advance!
Why Save Money Now? 9 Reasons That Will Help You Start Saving
Learning to save money is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Saving money can help you prepare for emergencies, start a business, retire, and more.
Financial security is one of the best reasons for why you should save money, and being prepared financially is one of the best feelings in the world. You can travel more, pursue your passions, quit a job you don’t love, try new things, and more.
But, I hear over and over again from people that they don’t want to save money now because they think they have the rest of their life to do so.
However, that’s far from true, especially if you want to be prepared for emergencies or retire.
When you decide to start saving money now, you will be ready to live the rest of your life.
You can take chances, try new things, and be ready in case something awful were to happen. Saving money gives you the freedom to worry less and live more.
Now, there are some situations when people do have a harder time saving money. Maybe you are living paycheck to paycheck, are working to eliminate high amounts of debt, etc.
Even though learning to save money can be hard, small amounts of money add up over time, and this is very true when you start now. Plus, there are lots of great ways to make extra money to make saving now easier.
Saving money takes discipline and some people may need to take extreme measures, but starting to save money now is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
- How To Save Money
- Don’t Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle
- Create a Life You Don’t Need To Escape From
- 4 Mindsets That Will Rob You Of Your Dream Life
Below is why you should save money even if you think you have the rest of your life to do so.
Learning a good savings routine now will help you later.
One of the top reasons for why many don’t start saving now and/or invest for retirement is because they claim that they don’t know how. Yes, it might feel overwhelming in the beginning – how to start investing, where to save your money, etc. But, these are things you can learn so it doesn’t have to be hard.
Once you get over the hump of getting started, you can create a routine where you regularly make contributions to a savings account or a retirement account. There are even investing and savings apps available to automate the process for you.
Acorns is a popular micro investing app that you can use to schedule deposits into your investment account – even just $5 at a time. You can also set up Acorns to round up transactions from a linked card to invest passively.
However you start to save and invest now and the sooner you do it, the more it becomes a habit and the easier it will become. By saving money as soon as you can, you will learn good financial habits that will help you well into the future.
Learn how to start investing at How To Start Investing With Little Money
You don’t need as much money as you think.
More and more people are choosing to live a minimalist lifestyle because they have realized that less is more. These people are living in smaller houses, not buying as much stuff, and being more thoughtful when they do make purchases.
These choices can lead to significantly spending less money on things, which makes it easier to save your money.
Now, leading a minimalist lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But, material items do not always equal happiness. Sometimes they just add stress, debt, and more. Think about it – the more stuff you have, the more likely that something will break, something will get lost or tossed to the side, and so on.
And if you think about the fact that the average household has 300,000 items (not a typo), that’s a lot of money spent on stuff.
However, do we actually need all of that stuff?
Spending money on a bunch of unnecessary stuff does not mean that you will have a higher level of happiness than someone else.
When you learn to live with less, you will find that you don’t need as much money as you thought.
An enjoyable life doesn’t have to be expensive.
One of the other things I hear about saving money is that it’s boring.
Yes, I have heard that if you are saving your money that you’re having no fun. In fact, here are a few myths I’ve heard about saving:
- “I can’t save money because that means I’ll just be eating rice and beans and sitting on my couch all day long.”
- “That person is only able to save money because they have a boring life.”
- “I’d rather enjoy my life now and worry about saving money when I’m old.”
These are not true, at all. You know what they say when a person complains about being bored – that they are actually a boring person.
If you think spending money rather than saving money will lead to happiness, then you need to change your mindset.
Life is all about a comfortable balance. You can save money, spend money, and have an enjoyable life. It’s not one or the other. And, really, it’s all about knowing what you can actually afford and thinking about whether buying something will actually benefit your life.
There are plenty of ways to live an awesome life while saving money. Yes, you can still see your friends, have fun with your loved ones, go on vacations, and more, all while staying on a realistic budget.
Instead of going out to eat three to four times a week, you can prepare meals with friends or family or host a potluck.
Instead of taking an expensive vacation, you can do a roadtrip or plan a staycation.
Instead of spending lots of money on an expensive weekend out with your friends or significant other, you can go for a hike, bike ride, and more.
There are so many ways to have fun for free or cheap, and finding new ideas now can help you start to save money.
- How To Be Frugal And Fun (And Not Boring)
- Why I’m Not Sad That I’m Frugal – Frugal Doesn’t Mean Boring
- How To Save Money In The Summer And Still Have Fun
Compound interest matters.
Learning how to save your money is a wonderful thing, especially if you start investing. When it comes to investing, time is on your side because of the powerful impact of compound interest.
Compound interest is one important reason for why you should start to save your money now instead of waiting until you are older.
To put it simply, compound interest is when your interest is earning interest. This can then turn the amount of money you have saved into a much larger amount years later.
This is important to note because of inflation – $100 today will not be worth $100 in the future if you just let it sit under a mattress or in a checking account. However, if you invest, you can actually turn your $100 into something more. Investing for the long term means your money is working for you, potentially earning you an income.
For example: If you put $1,000 into a retirement account that has an annual 8% return, 40 years later that would turn into $21,724. If you started with that same $1,000 and put an extra $1,000 in it for the next 40 years at an annual 8% return, that would then turn into $301,505. If you started with $10,000 and put an extra $10,000 in it for the next 40 years at that same percentage rate, that would then turn into $3,015,055.
Side note: I recommend you check out Personal Capital if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is similar to Mint.com, but much better. Personal Capital is free and it allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your whole financial situation, including investments.
- How This Couple Retired at 38 and 41: An Interview With Our Next Life
- How This Couple Retired In Their 30s and Now Travel Around The World: An Interview With Go Curry Cracker
- How Elizabeth Reached Financial Independence by 32 And Moved To A Homestead
- How Much Should A Person Save Each Month?
There’s no need to waste money just because you can.
There is no reason to spend all of your money just because you are able to. In my opinion, finding ways to save money will bring you greater security and peace of mind.
I’ve heard of people (even many who are close to me) say, “If I have money, I’ll spend all of it.”
If you decided to save your money rather than spend the last bits of it until your next paycheck, you will be on the road to saving more in the long run, meaning you can start to break free from a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.
Even if you are only able to save a small amount, that is much better than not saving anything.
Like I said above, time and compound interest are both on your side, and this can turn the small amount of money you have saved into a much larger amount.
Stop letting others dictate how you live your life.
One of the reasons that people spend more than they should (and save less now) is because it looks like that is what everyone else is doing.
We’ve all seen the pictures on Facebook or Instagram of a friend with their brand new car, someone on an amazing vacation, or in brand new clothes. But, just because other people have something, that doesn’t mean you need to as well.
You have no idea how someone paid for those things. Maybe they make more than you think, maybe it was a gift, or maybe they are going into debt to “afford” things.
You are the only one who gets to dictate how to spend your money. And you can choose to save instead of spending money on things to keep up with others.
In 10, 20, 30, or 40 years, you could be living a comfortable life without debt, not stuck in a job you hate, and be pursuing your passions. Doesn’t that sound so much better than a life of debt and comparison?
The less money you spend now, the less you need in the future.
By spending less money, you’ll decrease the amount of money you need in the future. This includes money for emergency funds, retirement, and more.
This will help you build your emergency fund quicker and reach retirement sooner.
Just think about it: If you are already living a frugal lifestyle, then you will be used to living on less in the future. This means your retirement savings doesn’t need to be as large, which means it may be easier to reach that savings goal.
Also, if you spend less money, you probably won’t need as much in your emergency fund, which can also help you fund that sooner!
When you spend less money now, you can save at a higher rate, and that means you can reach your goals that much faster!
For example, Mr. Money Mustache has a great graphic in his blog post The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement that shows you how your savings rate can dramatically impact when you’ll retire. For example:
- Saving at the average personal savings rate of 5%, it will take you 66 working years until you reach retirement.
- A 25% savings rate means it will take you 32 working years to retire.
- A 50% savings rate means it will take you 17 working years to retire.
- A 75% savings rate means it will take you 7 working years to retire.
So, by saving more of your money, you are likely to retire sooner. Sounds amazing, right?
There’s no guarantee that you’ll always have that income stream.
Time and time again, I hear from people that say they don’t need to save money now because they have a job.
Yes, you may feel safe and secure in your job, but the truth is that you never really know how long you’ll be making money or how long that job will last.
Many other people think, “But, I enjoy my job!”
While it’s great that you enjoy your job, you should still learn to save your money. Too many people think they can work forever because they love their job.
However, what happens when you can no longer work? You don’t know what the future will bring – you may encounter a medical problem, a serious life event, you may hate your job 20 years from now, and so on.
Why do people save money? One reason is because nothing is guaranteed.
So, instead of spending every last penny that you have, you should find ways to save more money.
The best things in life are free.
Stop for a second and think about your life. Do you have a friend you can count on? A family member who cares for you? A significant other to share your life with? Did a stranger hold the door open or offer you a smile? None of those things cost a dime.
Even if you just have one of these, you are still experiencing the happiness in life that comes free of charge.
There are so many free things in life to enjoy!
There are libraries, parks, free concerts, music on the radio, and more.
All of these amazing free things mean that you can stop spending as much and start to save money now.
Living a frugal life means you are taking advantage of what’s already around you. For some, this can be a hard mindset to get into, but when you realize you already have the most important things in life, you will realize that money isn’t the be all and end all.
There are many reasons to save money, and it’s never too late to start.
Starting to save money now will change your life.
Saving money is a mindset that you have to put yourself into. You have to make routines, make sacrifices, and change the way you spend money.
I know all of that is hard to do, but there is no greater feeling than being prepared.
And please don’t think that it’s too late to start saving. It’s never too late!
By learning to save at any age or stage of your life, you are making one of the smartest decisions you can for your future, even just a month or five years down the line.
What do you think? Do you think you should save money now? Or enjoy life and save later?
The post Why Save Money Now? 9 Reasons That Will Help You Start Saving appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.
What To Do With That Last Little Bit Left in the Container
We’ve all been there. You have a container of something and it’s almost used up. There’s just a little bit left in the container, but that little bit is hard to access. How far should you go to access that little bit? How much effort is worth it? Even better, is there anything creative you can do in that situation that minimizes effort and time and maximizes return?
Over the last year or so, I’ve been trying different techniques to figure out how to get the last little bit out of different containers, and I’ve figured out a few things that work well and quite a few things that don’t.
Let’s dig into that last little bit left behind in the containers in our lives.
It’s probably not worth it to put in significant effort to get out the last little bit.
In general, the value you get from extracting the small amount of remaining… stuff in the container isn’t worth it if it requires a lot more effort than the normal ways in which you use the product.
For example, with a tube of toothpaste, each use uses up perhaps two cents of toothpaste, so cutting open the tube to get one to three more uses out of it will only save you a nickel or perhaps a dime.
The only real reason to put in much effort to get that last little bit out is if it psychologically bothers you to waste it, in which case the sheer sense of feeling good about getting that last bit out is the reason to do it. Some people get a lot of personal value out of knowing that they used it all up. (I’m not really in that group, though I certainly sympathize with that kind of feeling.)
The best solution for toothpaste tubes is to start from the end and empty it gradually throughout usage.
Rather than having to force the last bit out of the tube at the end or try to mangle the toothpaste tube, a much better approach is to use a clip throughout the entire time you use the tube. Squeeze from the bottom of the tube each time and then roll up the tube every few uses, applying a clip to the bottom of the tube to hold it in place. That way, when you do get to the end, the tube is really empty.
This is a far more efficient way of getting every bit out of the toothpaste tube than cutting it apart or exerting a lot of force near the end.
(While we’re talking toothpaste, anything more than a pea-sized amount on your toothbrush is wasted. Get used to just getting an amount on there that’s the size of a pea and your toothpaste will last way longer. Ignore the ads that show a huge line of toothpaste on the brush – they want you to use far too much so you’ll buy tubes more frequently.)
For peanut butter jars, use the remaining bits as an ingredient in something you make in the jar.
For example, if you really like making cookies with a hint of peanut butter in the dough, literally make some of the dough inside the peanut butter jar, adding flour and water until you have a dough ball that will take all of the peanut butter right off the sides of the jar as you mix it.
If you like Thai food, you can use the jar to make a wonderful sauce right in the jar, with some great peanut flavor. Here’s a nice recipe, where you just mix everything in the jar and then dump it out, leaving very little of anything in the jar.
As an aside, my youngest son will take a nearly-empty jar of peanut butter and stick a slice of bread in there with his small hands, rubbing it around the inside, so he can have half a peanut butter sandwich. I’m not sure it’s particularly efficient, but it does get most of the remaining peanut butter out and it seems to make him pretty happy!
For many bottles, simply invert them.
If you notice that your bottle of shampoo or body wash or lotion is mostly empty, simply turn the thing upside down and leave it until your next use. This will allow all of that extra stuff to collect at the top of the bottle and usually get you one final nice use out of the contents.
For me, this is the easiest way to get the last bit out of a bottle. It doesn’t involve cutting anything and lets gravity do the work.
I don’t find it useful to add (much) water to the bottle. It usually dilutes whatever is inside to the point where it doesn’t work particularly well. Watered-down shampoo is pretty difficult to use well, in particular. It’s much better to use a small shot of gravity-collected shampoo built up from inverting the bottle. If the liquid or gel in the bottle is really thick, you can add a tiny bit of water before inverting it; just shake it really well before flipping it over.
This also works well for condiments and salad dressing. Just put the cap on well and store it in the fridge upside down. You’ll almost always get one more use out of the item before it’s truly empty.
If you have an almost-empty bottle of olive oil, make salad dressing right in the bottle.
If there’s a small amount left in a bottle of olive oil, it’s perfect for just making a salad dressing or marinade right in the bottle. Just mix in the other ingredients you need directly in the bottle, add a bit more olive oil from a new bottle if needed, then you can just shake it thoroughly in that old bottle and dispense it right from that bottle.
This not only gets almost all of the remaining oil out of the bottle, but it also saves you from having to dirty up another container for your olive oil for that meal.
If you have a bottle of honey or molasses, just run it under hot water for a while.
Just put the whole container in the sink under hot water for 15 or 30 seconds (perhaps while you’re doing something else) and the honey or molasses will suddenly be a whole lot runnier and will easily pour out of the container.
I often do this while running hot water for some other purpose, like filling up a pot for boiling or filling a sink basin for washing dishes, so the hot water isn’t wasted.
If you have a thick canned good, like tomato paste or cranberry sauce, cut the bottom off the can at the start.
This allows you to slide one of the can lids right through the can, pushing the stuff inside right out the other side and leaving almost nothing in the can.
Many cans with thick liquids in them, like tomato paste, come predesigned so that you can open both ends easily.
If you don’t need a full can of tomato paste, put the extra paste into a small container in the fridge. It’ll last a long time in there (tomato is acidic and the fridge is cool), so you can use the rest later on.
If you have expensive lotions and moisturizers in a tube, squeeze the bottom half (flat end) of the tube’s contents into the top half, cut off the bottom half of the tube, and use a cotton swab to remove the remaining contents.
Lotion tubes are pretty much the only containers I’ll bother destroying to get more material out, simply because the contents of those tubes are usually pretty expensive and there can actually be a lot of lotion in the tube when it feels “empty.”
The way that seems most effective in my trials (and many errors) is to squeeze the flat end of the tube thoroughly toward the cap, then cut off the flat end about a third of the way down the tube, and discard that flat end. The remaining tube usually has a fair amount of lotion/cream still in there, which you can remove with your fingers or a cotton swab. You can then cover that open end with a small bag or pinch the tube shut with a clip.
This seems to do a really good job of getting several more uses out of a lotion/cream/moisturizer tube.
Getting the last little bit out isn’t a big deal, but if you can do it efficiently, it spreads out your purchases a little.
If you can get another 5% of value out of a container without much additional effort or just by using a bit of creativity, that means you’re waiting just a little longer to replace that item, and over time, it builds up to a free container. Plus, you’re filling up the trash a little more slowly than before.
It’s not a big thing, obviously. Rather, it’s something very tiny you can do, and if you find lots of tiny things in your life, they add up to something surprisingly big. If you can save a quarter a month with little effort, that’s not a big deal. If you can find 50 of those things, you save $150 a year, and that’s half of a car payment.
The post What To Do With That Last Little Bit Left in the Container appeared first on The Simple Dollar.
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