From what I’ve been seeing and hearing, the economy in most areas of the United States has been robust. So if you’re busy and jobs are coming along every week, what are you doing about that rainy day fund? It’s easy to get caught up in the moment with all the work and income that is being generated right now, but are you putting a little aside from each job or each week to get you through some of the slow periods (and saving some money for that vacation you’ll need from all the stress this year has brought on with work)?

At the time I’m writing this article, there are 19 weeks and three days till Jan. 1st, 2016. If you haven’t been saving, try this: How about putting away $100 per week till the end of the year? Nineteen weeks, $1900. Now take it to a full year, 52 weeks. See how quickly it can add up? I know that will help you on that rainy day, vacation or whatever you may want or need to spend it on.

It takes a commitment to begin saving but it gets easier the more you see the money start to add up. In fact you’ll probably start to add even more once you see how the money starts to build up. Installers are known for their hand skills; unfortunately not all installers are great with managing their money. Take small steps, especially if you are staying busy right now and have some money in the bank.

Put this money into a separate account or a safe place and just keep adding to it, and try not to get tempted into spending it on the small things in life—at some point in time you’ll need it for the big events that will come along. And if you do get tempted to spend on the little things, just remember from 2008 to about 2013, how things were pretty tight with work and money. This should get you back on track to save.

Another way to save some money right now if you’re staying busy is start buying supplies in bulk. All your distributors and suppliers offer bulk pricing, so if you’re using a lot of a certain product, buy it in bulk, save some money and put what you saved into your piggy bank. Now, if you’re like me, you have a wife who is great at handling the finances and makes sure that the rainy day fund is growing. Sometimes it’s just a little and sometimes it’s a good contribution.

Now that we have some short-term goals that will generate into some longer-term goals, it’s also time to think about retirement. Think you have plenty of time before you need to worry about retirement? Nope! The years start to fly by the older you get, and if you don’t get into the habit of saving and putting away for retirement now, by the time you do think about it you won’t be able to build up enough of a nest egg to live on during those golden years.

So you see, the little steps you take to saving money now will lead to big gains down the road. Remember, once your health peaks and your work speed starts to slow down, if you’re working by piece and not hourly your production will go down also. This means you’ll either need to charge more or work longer hours, which as you get older just doesn’t make sense and your body will tell you so!

So my challenge for those of you who have not been saving: try it till Jan. 1st, 2016. If you were able to save some money, next time I’m in your area you can buy me lunch! Take care, fellow installers.