If you’re fixin to boil a frog, one popular technique warns against dropping the critter into a pot of boiling water. Not surprisingly, a frog will immediately hop out of a pot of boiling water. #shocking
How To Boil A Frog
The best way to boil a frog is to begin with room temperature water and slowly turn up the heat whenever the frog gets used to its new situation.
Gradually increasing the water temperature from warm to hot to boiling allows the critter to stay in an environment that it normally wouldn’t tolerate. The frog thinks everything is great without realizing that it’s now in a situation from which it would have run from not long ago. And that is how you boil a frog – bon appétit!
Weird story but it has a good lesson that’s applicable to our money.
Avoid Drastic Changes
If you’re ready to improve your finances, making major changes that will dramatically change your life can be just like jumping into your own pot of boiling water – you probably won’t last very long.
Instead, start by making small changes, then turn up the heat slowly as you get comfortable.
For example, if money is tight, don’t try to max out your 401k. Your intentions might be good, but why not try contributing an extra 1% for a few paychecks, then up your contribution again in a few months. Keep doing this each time you get comfortable and before too long you’ll have maxed out your 401k contributions.
Or, if your goal is to get out of debt, instead of emptying your savings account to pay down debt, try paying an extra $50 per month towards the debt you hate most. If that’s not too hot to handle, slowly contribute more and more money each month until you’ve reached your goal.
There are lots of examples, but you get the idea. You wouldn’t sign up to run a marathon before you’ve tried running a mile. The same principal holds true with your money.
Slowly Turn Up The Heat
Easing yourself into a new budget by making gradual changes to it could make it easier for you to stick to your financial plan. Whereas drastic changes that completely flip things upside down might be too much, which could lead to broken resolutions and a financial situation that’s worse than the one you started with.
Don’t worry about finding the perfect solution, it takes time to reach FIRE so just get started and make minor adjustments as you go. Keep making changes and before you know it you’ll have yourself a boiled frog. Or an early retirement.
Taking things slowly can be hard for me – I like to jump in with both feet. But I also recognize that a slow and steady approach probably has a better chance of success. What about you ? And have you ever eaten frog? I’ve had frog legs; tastes like chicken 😉