Four Tips to Start Saving Today


This is a guest post by Kelley C. Long.  She is a a nationally sought-after personal finance expert.  You can find and follow her on her KCL Money Coach website or at @kclmoneycoach on Twitter.


Putting off saving money is a lot like putting off starting a diet. We tend to wait until all the conditions are right and in the meantime, continue to make unhealthy choices that add up against us. Before we know it, not only are we not saving, but we may even be spending more than we are making. Just like eating right is a habit, so is saving money.

Start Saving Today

Image courtesy of suphakit73 /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here’s the thing: there will never be a right time to start saving money. However, with each day that passes by that you are NOT saving, you are actually making it worse. Why? The power of compound interest.

Consider this: Someone who starts saving $2,000 per year at age 22 will only have to do so for six years in order to have the same savings account balance at age 65 as someone who waits until age 28 to begin, but then keeps saving $2,000 per year UNTIL age 65. You can look at this two ways:

 

1. The earlier you start saving, the more you’ll have at retirement

OR

2. The earlier you start saving, the earlier you can stop!

 

However, how do you do this? What does it take to stop putting off finding that money to save? I mean if you had it available already, wouldn’t you be saving it? Here are a few tips to get you started today:

  • Start small – have $25 per paycheck automatically go to a savings account at a bank that is not connected to your checking account.
  • Increase the amount slowly and painlessly – the next time you get a raise take 50% of your paycheck increase and add that to what you are already saving. This way you can enjoy a bump in your spending as well as accelerate your savings.
  • Take advantage of “free” money – if your employer matches your 401k contribution and you are not already putting in enough to at least receive the full match, you are giving up money. Start with 1% of your salary, which you will not miss. Every six months add a percent until you are maxing out your match.
  • Make the most of windfalls – instead of spending all of your tax refund or money you receive as a gift, put half of it away. You’ll still get to enjoy the money, but you’ll be doing something smart too.

What are you waiting for? Take it from me, you do not want to look back and think to yourself that you wished you’d started saving sooner. Start today!

 

Question:  What are your best saving tips?   

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