Building a Savings
It often seems that
saving money is almost impossible. Unexpected expenses or the temptation
of some item or event can make even the best plans unsuccessful. Yet having
a financial cushion is one of the most important things you can do to
feel financially secure. Here are some ideas that may help:
- Contribute to
your retirement plan at work. Many companies offer employees the opportunity
to defer income into a 401(k) plan and will also help with a matching
contribution of some level.
- Sign up for an
automatic savings plan at your financial institution. If your institution
transfers a set amount into a special savings account from your checking
account each month, you will come to view that amount as a regular "expense"
and may not even notice it is gone from your checking account. Over
time, it will add up and that account will probably pay a higher interest
rate than your checking account. You can also use a similar type program
to have an amount automatically deducted from your paycheck and deposited
into a savings account.
- Reduce high interest
rate debt. If you are paying interest on credit cards or some other
loan that has a high interest rate, find a way to pay it off. Interest
rates in the teens make it hard to get ahead of the minimum monthly
payment required. You might also consider finding another credit card
with a lower interest rate.
- Skip a year's
vacation. As much as you may look forward to a lovely trip, consider
staying home, visiting relatives instead or going someplace less expensive.
- Find a cheaper
apartment. A less expensive place to live, even temporarily, can help
you save some money quickly.
Saving money is usually
a case of self-discipline. It may be hard, but having a savings cushion
can provide financial peace of mind and a source of funds if you need