Column: Arbor Day, Savings Grow like trees
What do Arbor Day and surviving a disaster like the pandemic-driven turmoil of the past year have to do with one another? Read on, and I'll explain.
By: Carriage Trade Public Relations
Georgia's state tree, the live oak, can take 70 years to reach its full size. Farmed pine trees can be ready for harvest in 15 to 20 years. And a pear tree can bear fruit in somewhere between 3 and 10 years.
I think of these specific Georgia trees as symbols for the different types of savings. The slow-to-mature, massive live oak represents retirement savings. The pine tree symbolizes our medium-range savings goals. And that pear tree can be the emergency savings we all should have – the safety net that protects the other money we have saved and lets us sleep at night.
Those emergency savings are what the ongoing COVID crisis has brought into laser focus, and we're fortunate they're the pear tree of our savings examples – you know, the one that bears fruit fastest.
The emergency savings rule of thumb has been around so long, it's hard to say where it comes from. It tells us we should have three to six months' worth of basic living expenses socked away.
If you have never reached that 3-to-6-or-more threshold, you have no idea of the peace and power that little bit of security can mean. For many of us during the financial sinkhole that was 2020, our emergency savings made the difference between mere uneasiness and near despair. So, consider making building (or rebuilding) such a fund a priority as we begin to climb out of the current crisis. Set up a regular savings program based on withholding, with deposits going straight out of your paycheck and into your account without passing through your pocket.
Do I hope you set that account up at Center Parc Credit Union? Of course I do, but the real point is to establish it somewhere and stick to it.
So get busy and set up your emergency savings account, or if you already have one, goose the amount you contribute until you reach that minimum threshold. And while you are at it, plant a tree and grow your future!
Submitted by Donna Williams
Community Development Liaison for Center Parc Credit Union
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.