When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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No one eats a big steak all at once.
You cut it with a knife and fork and eat it piece by piece. It's much easier that way and—let's face it—you won't embarrass yourself like you would by shoving the whole thing into your mouth.
By the same token, breaking your savings goals down into manageable pieces makes the process of stocking money away for a big expense a lot less daunting. If you know that your $450 car insurance bill is due in six months, better to start putting $75 a month in a cookie jar now than put the entire balance on a credit card (and pay interest) later.
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And it doesn't stop there. How many more shopping months are there until Christmas? College is coming up in the fall, so you better start preparing to write that tuition check. Car on its last leg? Foot the bill for a newer one by starting to save now.
The cool thing about saving early is that, when that big bill comes due, you hardly notice its presence. You write a check, send it off, and you're done with it. Many people are so used to panicking at the thought of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars that doing it this way (saving) is completely foreign to them.
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Think of how many times you've let a large expense sneak up on you, and the frustration that it brought on. Big purchases don't have to cause that kind of a ruckus. Panic and stress come when you don't have a plan set. It's like being in a car that's speeding toward a wall. If you're paying attention, you'll see the wall when it's still a long way off and know that you should put the brakes on.
If you don't pay attention until the last minute, you'd better hope the airbag works.