We all want to start saving money in preparation for the future. You might want to do it to be able to retire early enough in life or pay for the mortgage loan before retiring. You might even be doing it just to have enough to cover the credit card statement coming in at the end of the month. There are a lot of reasons why people want to get started with saving money.
But even with this, Forbes.com shares in an article that most Americans are lacking in the savings department. It is so bad that over 60% of them would have a problem covering a $500 financial emergency. It is no small amount but consumers who encounter emergencies especially the ones that concerns money should always have some form of reserve funds to rely on.
The problem might lie on the actual saving part because reserve funds, retirement fund, and any other financial savings plans need one thing in common – getting started. Consumers might know the value of these accounts. Having reserve funds can bail them out of financial trouble or that retirement funds give them the liberty to retire early. But actually starting the fund itself is a challenge in itself.
Even before you can think of increasing savings amount, you need to have a savings account to speak of. It is quite difficult to increase what you do not even have in the first place. It is already admirable and is considered as a first step to want to start saving now. You just have to put in some concrete steps into that desire to save for the future.
Start saving now
Marketwatch.com shares that majority of Americans have less than a $1,000 in their savings. This is just one emergency away from getting wiped out. Here are a few things you can look into to help you get started in saving money and hopefully you can build the habit of looking out for your financial well-being through savings.
- Start with baby steps. No one is ever born a professional from the get go because everyone had to start somewhere. It can be a floor sweeper who works in a bank who eventually climbed the ranks and became a branch manager. It can even be an assistant carrying equipments around eventually being a well-renowned photographer. You need to do the same thing when it comes to saving money and start with small steps. It can be a small amount everyday which you can increase as the weeks progress. Then you can start looking at how investments work and what instruments apply to your lifestyle and long-term goals,
- Look into incentives. The reward system can work wonders for you especially when you are trying to start saving money now. What it can give you is something to look forward to as you navigate through your journey. What you need to understand is that your journey will not always be a smooth one. There will come a time where you will feel as if you cannot see the purpose of your actions and a little positive nudge can do wonders to get you back on track. However, be sure that the incentives you are putting in do not outweigh the amount you need to save.
- Cut down expenses. It is easier for a lot of people to lower monthly expenses than to increase their income because it is something immediate they can accomplish right at that minute. This is a lot easier if you have an idea what your expenses are and your budget plays a crucial role in this endeavor. Your budget gives you a bird’s eye view not only of your expenses but your income as well. Having a good idea where the two are can help you make informed decisions on where you can cut down expenses.
- Look to make it easy. Present technology allows you some financial convenience and this can be used when you want to start saving now. If you experienced how it was to meticulously put in every dime and nickel you can find around the house then you would be happy with the auto debit program with your bank. The way it works is that you get you schedule a specific amount on a specific date to be taken out of your checking account into a separate account. This helps you save money easily every month and it even helps you curb the temptation to spend because the money is out of your checking account even before you get the chance to spend it.
- Commit mentally. You can have a lot of plans to save money and even lay them out beautifully on a piece of paper or in your smartphone so you can remember. You can also tell the whole world about it but if the buck stops there then you will never really accomplish anything. If you want to start saving, you need to be mentally committed and prepared to follow through on your plans and make sure that you take the necessary steps to get to your goal.
Hurdles to overcome
As you try and start saving money, there is a good chance that you would encounter a lot of challenges along the way. Here are a few of the ones you would have to deal with that usually pops up at the beginning of your saving journey.
- Early failure. You need to understand that at the onset, there is a big chance you will encounter challenging times. You might even fail from time to time but this should not stop you from trying. It might be a sign that you need to make some changes but you should never let this failure to stop you from trying to reach your saving goal. As some people would say, a setback is a perfect opportunity for a comeback. The one advantage you have is that you are a little bit wiser if you choose to learn from your mistakes.
- The temptation to go back. When you decide you want to start saving and you encounter resistance with your decision, it might be tempting to just stop and go back to your old ways. This is because backsliding to your old habits is a comfort zone for you but you need to remember that it is a lot harder to grow in your comfort zone. You need to step outside your bubble and learn. As soon as you start saving, you would start to miss your old spending ways and the challenge is for you to resist and persevere.
- Do not add more debt items. If you want to start saving, the last thing you need is to add more debt. In fact, adding more expenses is one of the debt problems pulling you down financially. As you try to cut down on expenses, you should also prevent adding on debt accounts. It is, of course, different when you have a scheduled expense such as car maintenance or even tv replacement. However, these should be born out of need rather than want.
There are a lot of things you can do to start saving now and the biggest challenge is simply getting started. As soon as you make and commit to your decision of putting away a certain percentage of your finances for your future need, start laying down the groundwork and plans and follow them step by step.