When I was a child, my mom would create scavenger hunts for me and my brother to find this old jewelry box that was hers when she was younger. Sometimes we would find stickers in that small box at the end of the hunt, other times we would find candy, and sometimes, if we were lucky, we would find some loose change. At four years old, those few pennies, nickels, and dimes felt like real treasure. A little seemed like a lot.
All of us have had those moments as children, whether it was a trip to get ice cream, a quarter under your pillow for losing a tooth, or a sticker for a job well-done. These small moments made us so excited and held so much meaning, and they felt huge. As time goes by and we start adding years to our life, I think it is easy for us to lose this mindset. We start to compare our lives with others, seeing what they have and noticing what we do not. We start to become aware of more responsibilities and anxieties. We go from thinking a little is a lot to adopting an opposite mindset where what we have seems like too little.
There is a lot we can learn from children. One of the most well-known lessons is found in the New Testament when Jesus tells His followers to receive Him and His kingdom with the same vigor, excitement, and unabashed-ness as a child would. In the same way, I think children teach us another valuable lesson when they take small and seemingly little things and turn them into momentous moments. It is a good reminder for us to do the same. There is value as an adult of adopting the “a little is a lot” mindset, and it can especially be helpful when it comes to your money and finances.
Something my dad would say a lot growing up is, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Just as taking things step-by-step is helpful and important when you may have too much on your plate, or a big project due, the same can be said when you are trying to build something up, small piece by small piece. Maybe you are wanting to start a savings account but are disheartened because you are starting from scratch. Just like eating an elephant, starting a savings account, and building it up is done one bite at a time. No amount you put away into savings is insignificant. Every penny, dime, or dollar that you save is valuable. It may feel small, but over time, if you are putting away an amount bit by bit, you will see it grow.
I wouldn’t say that I am the world’s best budgeter or saver, or that I even do well with managing the “a little is a lot” mindset, but I can say that I’ve tried my best to put a small amount away into my savings account each month. I’m not always consistent at it, but I have seen first-hand both the benefits and value of these small pieces and how they build to grow into an amount that you can use to reach some of your goals. I have gotten to see some corners of the world I never thought I’d be able to see with the help of my savings account. In 2018, I was able to visit London, England with my friend, Katy. In 2019, I got to walk where Jesus walked in the town of Jerusalem and Galilee. These are just examples of the ways I’ve gotten to reach some personal goals (traveling) because of the small amounts I decided to put away, piece by piece. Each of those small amounts were valuable.
Ultimately, I think we could all use the reminder to appreciate the little things in all aspects of our life, whether that’s seeing the value of a small dollar being tucked away for later, or if it looks like putting our phone down when we’re riding in the car to appreciate the scenery along the way. There is a wonderful sweetness that comes from enjoying and appreciating what we normally overlook or may think is trivial or insignificant. Let’s be more like ourselves at four years old. Let’s remember to find joy and value in the small and remember that a little is a lot.