How to Save Money - Invest in Your Future DO IT NOW

There is no real secret to saving money other than making yourself do it. The younger you are when you begin to save the better off you will be.

I have been a saver all my life. It's been easy for me. Of course I can say that now after many years of carrying through with my savings plan. When my husband and I got married he was the one that insisted on a pretty stringent savings plan. At that time not many companies offered 401k plans, but they did offer direct deposit into a bank savings account or credit union.

I can't tell you how often I've heard the advice to start saving when you're young, but that's exactly what I'm going to tell you. If you keep delaying, you're only going to wind up at retirement with having to cut back on everything just to survive, and what fun would that be?

The best way to start is to save a little something out of every pay check without fail. I don't care if it's $5.00. That's $20.00 a month. Put it in a savings account and don't touch it. May not seem like much in the scheme of things, but believe me it will pay off. Once you get about $1,500 in your savings account take $1,000 and find a certificate of deposit (CD) in which to invest. A CD normally will pay a higher interest rate than a savings account, which pays next to nothing in interest. The $500 then becomes an emergency fund and you won't be able to touch your CD until it matures. Just keep on saving.  Some credit unions are offering interest bearing checking accounts that will pay 4%.  You have to shop around and do your homework.  Make sure wherever you put your money that it is FDIC insured.  These credit union accounts can be kind of tricky to use because they have a lot of requirements attached to them.  These accounts will require at least one direct deposit or so many online bill pay transactions, etc.

If the company you work for has a 401k plan, take advantage of it. Most plans allow you to put as little as 1% of your paycheck in the plan each week. If the company gives matching funds try to put the max required to take full advantage of the match. After all, this is free money.

Just keep going. Eventually you'll get to the point where you have enough to purchase what you need with cash. Stay away from those credit cards. If you have one, only use it if you plan to pay it off each month. Use credit cards to your advantage not the bank.

I started an investment account for my granddaughter when she was born. Don't let her have a higher net worth at five than you do at thirty-five. SAVE... SAVE...SAVE DO IT NOW.

By the way, this can work if you’re self employed, too. Don't have a 401k? Then use an Investment IRA.

Make it Grow

Start young - the younger the better

Make sure to save a little bit out of each paycheck.

Take advantage of 401k plans and company matches.

Don't get caught in the credit card trap.

Read all you can about investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Ask questions!

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William J. Felchner
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Posted on May 13, 2010