Consumer Credit Counseling Service News Articles
No matter your stage of life, it’s important to have savings. Special purchase? Save. College education? Save. First home? Save. Retirement? Save. Emergency fund? SAVE.
CREATE A BUDGET.
You must evaluate how much money you take in and how much money you spend to take control of your financial life. List your income from all sources. List your “fixed” expenses – the ones that are the same each month. Think rent, car payments, etc. List your expenses that vary – entertainment, recreation, clothing, etc. Write down ALL your expenses (even if seem insignificant) to help you track your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize the rest.
PAY YOURSELF FIRST.
This means automatically making a savings contribution or investment with your income before it even reaches your wallet. Consider a payroll savings plan where a certain amount goes directly into your savings account each payday. (One of the easiest ways to start!) The flip side? This helps you get used to managing living expenses with what looks like a smaller paycheck, when actually you’re building up your own savings!
GET TO KNOW THE VALUE OF COMPOUND INTEREST.
Setting aside money and watching it grow can be a very powerful motivator. Think of compound interest as “interest on interest”. It is the interest you earn on your initial investment PLUS all the interest that has accumulated over time. It makes your investment grow at a faster rate than simple interest, which is interest earned only on the original investment amount.
KEEP IT GOING.
If you get a raise at work, bank it! If you pay off your car, bank the monthly payments! If you’re not sure you’ll remember to make the deposits, consider automated transfers from your checking account to your savings or investment account. That way you never even notice it. If you were able to live on less before, you can continue!
GET CREATIVE. SAVE AND HAVE FUN!
Saving money doesn’t have to be boring! Get your hair done for free or deeply discounted by going to a beauty school. Pack your lunch. Did you know that spending just $6 a day on lunch means spending about $800 a year! (And don’t even get me started on daily Starbucks!) Instead of buying books, music, DVDs…dust off your library card or trade with friends! Keep your car tires properly inflated, which can increase fuel efficiency, meaning less money spent on gas. The list is endless.
**Everyone has the ability to save. You can start small and save only $10 a week or a month. Over time, your deposits will add up. Even small amounts can help you in the future.