As I hope you know, February 19-26 is America Saves week. Americans in 2012 aren't great at saving money, unfortunately. This flies in the face of our thrifty and frugal history, and I'm not just talking about our Depression-era grandparents who refused to throw out string and Cool Whip containers. Once upon a time in America, Ben Franklin's adage "a penny saved is a penny earned" was how most Americans lived their lives. If you need some reasons why to save, here are the 10 best that I can think of. What can you add to this list?
10. You may be able to live in a cashless society at Burning Man, but most people aren't willing to barter an oil change for some of your hand-knit pashminas. Put some money aside every week so you never have to fall back on your weaving skills to get by.
9. Nobody over the age of 23 really likes eating ramen noodles.
8. It's unlikely that the beleaguered employees at China's FoxConn factory are interested in paying for American retirement.
7. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, money will help to keep you alive and fighting another day.
6. Despite our lip service to respecting our elders, not many individuals are willing to put their money where their mouth is. You're on your own for retirement.
5. Expecting your kids to help you out financially entirely depends on your kids. (Hint: if they're living in your basement at age 43, it's unlikely this plan will work out).
4. It's nice to have a choice between a staycation and a vacation. Because no matter how nice your inflatable kiddie pool may be, it will never compare with the beaches of Cabo San Lucas.
3. There really is a difference between sending your kid to an Ivy League school and dropping them off at Big Bob's House o' Learnin' and Pancakes for their freshman year.
2. It's still illegal to print your own.
And the number one reason why you should save money?
1. We're Amurricans, durn it, and we're self-sufficient, independent, and hard-working. I truly believe it's patriotic to take good care of ourselves financially.
No matter what your current financial situation may be, find a way this week to put aside a little more money. You'll feel good. And yes, I believe you can hear the strains of the Star-Spangled Banner in the background.