Updated: Dec 6, 2018
Let’s say that in 1990, you were 15 years old and were able to make a boat load of money by mowing lawns and babysitting. You are a save-the-money kind of person and decided to put all $2,000 in a large manilla envelope and stuff it in your dresser. It was a wonderful feeling. In your childish brain, you figured you could use it as a down payment on your first house or some other very adult-like venture.
Now don’t get me wrong, that $2,000 was and STILL is a lot of money. Especially for a teenager. But it’s also not a lot of money.
Let me explain.
In 1990, two thousand dollars could go along way. Gas was cheap. Food prices were pretty good too. But if you were to take that cash and stuff it under your mattress and wait until now - 2018 - the money would only be valued at about half that amount. Yes, I said half! If you look at the data below, the total of $3,909.98 is what it would take to have the same value as $2,000 back in 1990.
All you math-haters out there stay with me! I promise you it’s not too hard to follow this idea!
Let’s say now, that in 1990 (and somehow as a super-smart 15 year old) you knew that you didn’t have a lot of use for the cash at your youthful age (you couldn’t even drive yet lol) but you also knew that if you put it in under your mattress, the money would only be depreciating in value. Wow, again, super-smart 15 year old. ;)
Instead, you’d do what any super-smart 15 year old would do and you stick that money into a nice little mutual fund or something similar. Two thousand dollars invested 28 years ago and never touched since. You decided to just let that money slow cook its way into sweet excessiveness.
So you didn’t add or subject anything from your initial investment. At a 10 percent compound interest rate (not too uncommon for higher risk-type mutual funds), after 28 years you could take it out today and have a whole lot more than two thousand dollars.
Drum roll pleeeeeease!
Do you see that crazy large number there? $28,841.99
Wowzers! Doesn’t that make you look back at your 15 year old self and say, “WHY?! Why didn’t you invest in your future right then and there?”
Yep, me too.
But you may be asking, “Korie, what the heck should I do with this information today?” Don’t let this suddenly discourage you! It all starts with knowledge.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6
Your thinking must change in order for you to see investing as a wise decision that you choose for yourself.
So why doesn’t everyone do the smart thing and invest their money? Well I have come to realize that with every investment there is risk. Not all investments end up doing so stellar. Every investment involves risk. This is not just true of money. All investments of time, attention, and love are risks we take.
For you, this may mean risking another heartache. You’ve dated before and got your heart broken. It’s hard to see yourself in that place of vulnerability again. But maybe the Lord is calling you to step out in faith again. This could just mean being open to the possibility of another relationship. Or it could mean being more honest in the relationship you are already in.
And not just risk, but time. Investing takes time. What are you willing to do now that may be difficult but has big dividends for the future? With our financial series this month, I hope we’ve come to realize that financial freedom can come through getting out of debt, saving and investing our money. These are all hard things to do in the long, drawn out months of planting our money plants, little by little.
But while I hope that you truly can find financial freedom, my bigger hope is for your investing to be deeper than money can take you. How can you invest in things that matter? Things that last, not just through retirement but for eternity?
It’s risky, but it’s worth it.
For me, my investments have names and the young ages of 6 and under. I am one rich momma.