By Mack Bekeza
Saving, sounds hard, right? Well actually not as much as you think, but it does require will power and a positive attitude. In most cases, people begin to start saving but end up quitting because of a few things:
- They save too much and end up having to spend most of it to pay for life’s necessities.
- They save too little and think there is no point to continue saving at all.
- They save a fair amount of money but end seeing a big sale at their favorite stores and decide to blow it on clothes or other things.
So how can someone avoid those three things? It can be achieved by following a few steps:
- Develop a monthly budget for your bills and discretionary spending (budgeting tips can be found in our previous personal finance blog attached here).
- Think of a couple things that you can set a savings goal for. For instance, you could plan to start an emergency fund that can cover 3-6 months of expenses (Please take note that this should be done over a course of a couple years so don’t rush yourself on this).
- If you have not done so already, another goal you can start is creating a retirement savings goal. You know that 401(k) that your employer offers…take advantage of it! Not only will it possibly allow to exclude a portion of your income for tax purposes, it can be a big help to get you prepared for retirement.
- To fund these great savings goals, think of a suitable savings rate that can cover these goals. For instance, a rule of thumb is to be able to save 10%-15% of your income for an emergency fund and eventually contribute another 10% to your retirement goals. This might sound like a lot, but you do not have to automatically save this amount right away. These things take time to start building, so start with at least 5% for both and gradually increase the amount over time.
- Now that you have these in mind, how do you resist the temptation of using these savings for things you do not need? For starters, you can open your new savings account with an another bank so you really feel like you are putting money away and do not have instant access to it. However, for an emergency fund, it is important to have at least a check book to pay for emergencies (Money Market Savings Accounts allow you to have a check book and might even allow you to have a debit card). Check out banks that offer High Yield Money Market Accounts here.
Hopefully you will take this to heart and begin a plan to save! Although we will continue to write personal finance blogs over time, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to help with your goals!
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