Monday, September 29, 2008

How to Start Saving

No matter how much debt you're in, no matter how old you are, no matter what's happening this week on Wall Street, it's never too late to start funding your future by creating a savings plan. It's easy to put off saving for the future because of current bills and expenses. But don't let your current financial situation stop you from setting savings goals: close your eyes, hold your nose, and put that money aside for yourself.

Understand where your money is going now: Write down everything you spend money on for a few months. You may think about carrying a small notebook to record cash purchases and an envelope for credit and debit card receipts. Cellphones also often have a "Notes" function where you can record recent purchases. Put all of your spending information together on WISER's Budget Sheet to find out what your expenses are for an average month. By tracking your spending, you can look for ways to reduce your expenses and relocate that money into savings.

Make a plan to save a certain amount each month: Plan to put a certain amount of money or percentage of your income into savings every month. Set savings goals and make sure to stick to your plan. Once you start saving and stick to it, you won't even miss that money.

Reduce your credit card debt: Monthly credit card bills can tie up money that you could be saving. The Institute of Consumer Financial Education can help you find ways to lower your debt. If you want to continue using a credit card, but you're tired of high interest rates, visit for information on how to find the best low-interest credit cards.

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