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This is the time of year that I start to feel like a stuffed turkey - with green bean casserole, corn, mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, and pecan pie. Yes, there is so much yumminess around. I just want to get stuffed fat like the big bird and waddle around in my happy stupor.

 

As joyous as the end result of family, friends, and an incredible feast makes me feel the truth is that when I sit down with my Thanksgiving menu serious anxiety kicks in. Coincidentally, I feel the exact same way about saving money.

No, seriously, stick with me here. Wouldn't you agree that getting your savings built up for the big feast is a lot like the cooking marathon that takes place before Thanksgiving dinner? Think about it. You can't do everything at one time. Most of the meal has to be prepared in advance. And someone always has to do the dirty work.

 

I wonder how I will ever get all of those things on the table at the same time, still hot and edible. So, I make a plan. You can do the same for your savings. Look at the whole picture and then break it down. When planning my menu I always plan the small - and easy - things first and work them into the bigger picture. What most people want and need is a bit of cushion in their finances. Yet there are many of us who never seem to get that small saving account built up. Dinner will never get to the table if you don't start cooking.

 

Just like you cannot wait until 2pm on Thanksgiving Day to stick your turkey in the oven you cannot wait to start your savings when you're leaving on vacation in a week or you're turning 64. You must plan and prepare in advance.

It takes a lot of work to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table. You have to find some humor in the fact that it takes days to prepare and then everyone sits down for less than an hour and it's over. You're spent - yet you have to have the energy to do the dishes and do it all again next year. The same goes for your savings. You'll save for things like large vacations just to go and come back exhausted with major unpacking to do.

 

All of that planning, prepping, and work is worth it though. When you sit down to a meal fit for a King and see the beams of joy on the faces of those that surround you. And when it comes to savings it's when you realize you have the equity to pay cash for a larger purchase, travel somewhere adventurous, or retire with no worries about how you'll pay your bills. You will know you've accomplished something huge.

 

I want my savings to be stuffed fat for retirement yet allow me side dishes of emergency funds, large purchases and of course dessert - my vacation! Wouldn't that make you waddle around in a happy stupor? It does me!