Apr 2nd, 2007 by Jennifer Lynn
A Great Start to April!
I was thrilled to discover yesterday that I’ve reached one of my first financial goals earlier than expected (see My 2007 Goals for Financial Prosperity.) Thanks to diligently socking away between 10-15% of my paycheck and through receiving a portion of my tax refund, (thanks to a free tax prep courtesy of Turbo Tax I managed to get), I’ve finally managed to accumulate a nifty safety buffer of $1,000 in an online savings account.
Since I had absolutely -no- (zero, zip, nada) savings in January, this brings huge relief and a great psychological boost. A $1,000 savings over the span of three months definitely feels empowering!
But consider this sobering fact; the nation’s savings rate was at a negative 1 percent last year. The savings rate has fallen to the lowest level since the Great Depression. Ouch.
So why aren’t more people motivated to save?
You don’t need to be filthy rich to begin building wealth
Many people are under the assumption that saving a little isn’t worthwhile in the long term. But putting a bit of money away now can actually go a long way in preparing for those pesky unexpected expenses and emergencies, buying a home, or even funding a comfy retirement.
The key is learning how to most effectively make your money work for you.
By getting into the healthy habit now of nurturing and respecting every dollar that passes through your fingers, you’ll soon be reaping the wonderful fruits of your labor. Saving a mere $5 a day can dramatically change your life over time.
Consider putting $5 per day in an account yielding a 10-percent annual return. After 40 years, that $150 a month (roughly) can transform into an enormous $940,000.
So in what ways have I been saving money without feeling as if I’m sacrificing too much?
- I always pay myself first. I transfer between 10-15% of my paycheck into savings as soon as I receive it, instead of waiting at the end of the month when it may have all dwindled away. This has become so habitual that I never notice the difference.
- By bringing my own snacks and lunch to work, I easily save up to $3 per day. I also eat enough to feel satiated and try to avoid over binging on food. This also helps alleviate that gross “I’m stuffed” feeling after completely pigging out on a meal.
- At the end of each day, I throw all of my change into a jar in my room. By the end of the month, that change easily morphs into an unexpected $30-$40.
- I love walking and hiking and can easily absorb myself in nature for hours at a time. All I need to bring on my journey is a thermos filled with water, some small healthy snacks for endurance, and my favorite book from the library for stretching out for a bit in the sun. Long walks are both physically and spiritually healthy, and they don’t cost a thing!
Do you have your own favorite saving tips and activities? I’d love to hear them!
Baby Steps are Key ~†~
If you learn how to nurture and take care of your money now, down the road your money will, in turn, take care of you.
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