Every Little Bit Helps

posted by Andrea | 12/3/2015

every little bit helps

After Nora’s 4th birthday, she and I walked to our local bank and opened up a savings account in her name. (And yes, she actually wrote her name on the paperwork! I thought the bank manager was going to bust out laughing when she asked him if she could have his pen!)

We deposited her birthday money — with a little extra from mom and dad to make it an even $44 deposit for our big 4 year old 🙂

Now Nora has her own bank book and a new piggy bank to start saving up money at home.

bank deposit

As we walked home from the bank, we talked about how we would try to put a little money in the bank every month to help her savings account grow — and then when she was bigger, she would have enough money saved up to buy a toy, a doll, a camera, or even a car (she has been talking a lot about “when she can drive” lately).

Obviously, that’s all a long ways off right now — after all, $44 won’t buy much these days. However, I hope that by opening a bank account and going through the motions of regularly adding small amounts of money to the account, she will start to learn and see first-hand that “every little bit helps”.

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As I was telling Nora how “every little bit” of money put into her savings account will add up over time, my brain instantly thought of the countless other situations when “every little bit helps” to add up to a bigger goal or better outcome — maybe not right away, but certainly over time.

Every little bit helps!

Spending 5 minutes wiping down the counters, sink, and toilet is better than doing nothing at all

Taking 5 minutes to organize your junk drawer is better than doing nothing at all

Donating 5 things from your closet is better than nothing at all

Purging 5 pieces of paper clutter from your kitchen counter is better than doing nothing at all

Adding $5 to your savings or investment account is better than adding nothing at all

Exercising for 5 minutes at various points of the day is better than doing nothing at all

Spending 5 minutes of quality one-on-one time with your spouse, children, friends, or family is better than spending no time at all

Pulling 5 weeds from your garden is better than doing nothing

Deleting or filing 5 emails is better than doing nothing at all

Saving $5 by packing your own lunch one day a week is better than eating out every single day

I think you get the idea…

Every little bit really does help.

You might not see loads of progress today, tomorrow, next week, or even next month, but over time, you will start to see results.

Your savings and investments accounts will grow, your closet will be less cluttered, your home will be cleaner, your schedule will feel less chaotic, your waistline will shrink… I could go on and on.

I realize that parts of this post are slightly idealized and overly-simplified — but I don’t think anyone can argue that the overall concept and message of this post are true.

I know this time of year is often full of so many extra expenses, extra stuff, extra obligations, extra events, extra stress, and even extra calories 🙂 — and because of all that, I feel like it is also the perfect time of year to test out my “every little bit helps” theory.

What “little bit” will you do today?

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9 comments

  1. Liz

    12/04/2015

    Decades ago, I heard the phrase “you can do anything for 15 minutes” and IT STUCK.

    It’s how I motivate myself to start a project, or keep working on some dreadful task or even to attack a huge initiative.

    It’s just 15 minutes.

    Set a timer and dig in. When the timer goes off….you can walk away or finish what you’ve started. No shame. 15 minutes done.

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  2. Sharon

    12/04/2015

    Another GREAT post! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

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  3. Barb

    12/03/2015

    Andrea,

    Thank you for this post! It is exactly the kind of encouragement I needed to keep plugging away at all of my to dos, even if it doesn’t seem like much right now.

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  4. LMG

    12/03/2015

    We save our change for our 3-year-old daughter and periodically sit down with her and her piggy bank. We talk about the names of the coins and she puts them in her bank. She often asks now if she can “save money”–it’s adorable.

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  5. Alicia G

    12/03/2015

    Love this! We started doing a 5 minute tidy after every meal. I set the timer and it’s always amazing how much better the house looks just after that small time.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes! We do something similar before every meal. I love getting the house cleaned up a bit before we eat!

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  6. Kristin

    12/03/2015

    I’m curious to what your allowance plan is. We always struggle with how to do this. Right now we are on the do chores every day and receive a weekly allowance for the three money jars.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Kristin,
    We honestly don’t do any allowance stuff right now — our kids are still quite young for that in my opinion. Right now, Nora just gets small amounts of money as gifts (birthday, Christmas, etc.) and then if she finds money around the house (couch cushions, when she helps me with the laundry, etc.)

    I’ve had her do a few chores for money, but I don’t think she really understood that she was getting paid for working and doing a good job. We’ll revisit the issue in another year or so 🙂

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  7. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    12/03/2015

    Beautifully said, Andrea! It is SO true. Every little bit helps! This is what we say when we tuck little bits into Nathan’s savings account as well. And we try to put the occasional extra bit in our “someday Alaska” savings account. It’s one of the reasons we keep 13 (and counting) different savings accounts, so we can keep all our little bits separate. Thanks for the reminder that every little bit counts in all areas! I’m going to spend some time today grading tests for my husband so he doesn’t have to do it tonight…saving him some time in these final school weeks until break!

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