The song She Works Hard For The Money, written by Donna Summer, was released in 1983 and may be best known for its association with the movie Flashdance. Lyrically, there’s not much to the song, two verses, a bridge, and the chorus. While I feel the chorus was overly repeated and the lyrics have little depth, the song had sufficient hooks for consumers to propel it to the #3 position on the Billboard charts.
It doesn’t matter if you apply the album cover waitress job or the steel mill and dancing career of the movie, the story arc regards a young woman who works hard for the money. What is working hard for the money? Is it physical, mental, emotional, or a mix of these? I can’t relate to the hardness of dancing, but I’ve held many different jobs during my lifetime. Desk jobs are not physically demanding, unless you count the mental fortitude of staying awake during a two-hour meeting. I worked in a textile mill where the manufacturing floor felt like it was 110 degrees – definitely more physically demanding than a desk job, but not as demanding as some manual labor jobs I’ve had.
The thing about money is that it doesn’t care about you, your ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, or capabilities. Though it’s inanimate, you must have a relationship with your money. Granted it’s a one-sided relationship, but you must have one nonetheless. We all have that one friend who throws spare change into an empty five-gallon water jug. That’s great until you realize it takes decades to collect enough change to fill it, that you can no longer move the jug because it weighs 100 pounds, and then wonder what else you could have done with all that spare change.
We all work hard for the money, some harder than others. The objective is to make your money work for you also. Tossing change into a container is not a savings plan. If nothing else, recognize that doing so devalues your money because of inflation.
Think of it this way, if the average annual rate of inflation over a 10-year period is two percent and you receive an annual pay increase of two and a half percent, then you’re keeping ahead of inflation. However, if you don’t receive any raises over the same 10-year period, or only average a one percent annual pay raise, you aren’t keeping pace with inflation. It’s important to find a way to make your money work.
This can be done through interest bearing savings or checking accounts, money market accounts, bonds, stocks, etc. You don’t need a lot of money to start and your bank can assist with many of these options. For example, if you want to look at certificate of deposit rates you can go to Bankrate where you will see minimum deposits start at $250 (ignore the $1 ones). If you want to start smaller you should consider U. S. Treasury bonds where you can acquire a savings bond for as little as $25. Note that you can also acquire inflation adjusted bonds.
Be sure to check the annual percentage yield (APY), the length of time associated with the item (anywhere from a month to years) and look for any fees or penalties for buying or selling the item. Forget the water jug and make your money work hard for you.
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