Once upon a time, Rabbit continuously boasted to his friends about how fast he could run. He pointed to the hound dog following its master on a farm across the way, “See that dog? I’m faster than him by a longshot,” he would say. He looked up to see a red-tailed hawk soaring overhead, “See that hawk? He tried to catch me once. Wasn’t fast enough.”
After a while Rabbit’s words began to wear thin on one of his friends. This friend decided to challenge him. “I’d like to see how fast you run,” his friend said. “Let’s race.”
Rabbit looked around, “Sure! Who am I racing against?” His friend replied, “Me.” Rabbit could do little to stifle his laugh. “You? But you’re a turtle,” Rabbit stammered. “Yes. I know,” said Turtle.
Turtle went on to describe the racecourse. Rabbit nodded in agreement. Other animals gathered around. They couldn’t believe their ears: Turtle and Rabbit racing? This was something to see.
The next morning, as the sun rose on the starting line, Rabbit yawned, Turtle squinted. At the sound of the farmer’s crowing rooster, the two set off. Rabbit bounded over the tall grass. Turtle kept walking, one step at a time. Within moments, Rabbit could see the finish line. He could’ve finished the race right then, but decided to take a break. He curled up in the tall grass at the bottom of an oak tree and slept. His sleep was disturbed by the sound of animals cheering in the distance. Rabbit felt his stomach lurch: the race! He leapt out of the tall grass, bounded over the small hills, and eyed the finish line. Standing on the other side, the medal for 1st place hanging around his neck, was Turtle. Rabbit rushed ahead and humbly bowed his head to accept 2nd place.
Stories shape who we are and how we live our lives. Though what I’ve shared is my version, you probably recognized Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.” There is truth in age-old wisdom.
When it comes to personal finance, there are steps you can take right now to potentially improve your financial situation. Grab your pen and paper to try this out:
- Define your why. Why save your money? Retirement? A large purchase? Write it down. How much do you think you need for your why? Write it down.
- Save early. Decide how much of your paycheck will go toward your why and pay yourself first. Ex. If your paycheck is for $1000 and you decided 10% of your paycheck would go to your Why ($1000 x .10 = $100), $100 goes into savings. Write it down.
- Save often. Keep your promise to yourself: a percentage of every paycheck goes into savings.
- Schedule check-ins. Schedule quarterly or semi-annual check-ins to see how you’re progressing toward your goal. Write down your progress.
The achievement of personal financial goals is possible when you build upon good financial habits over time.
Wendolyn Forbes is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. For more information about Wendolyn’s financial services practice, please visit her website at www.wtf-asn.com.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
This material is provided as a courtesy and for educational purposes only. Please consult your investment professional, legal or tax advisor for specific information pertaining to your situation.
Originally published in the March 2022 issue of Positively Haywood by Vicinitus. https://www.vicinitus.com/