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Money Matters – Saving More: The First Step

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420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – “Don’t spend all your money.” That was President Obama’s advice to the average U.S. consumer at the “Personal Finance Online Summit” last month.

Currently the U.S. savings rate is 5%. That was for the month of May. This is very good compared to a few years back when it was a negative number.

Saving allows you to get out of debt and to reach your financial goals. You want to try and save 10% of your net pay. To do this you want to try to save on everything you purchase – merchandise or services.

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and 77% of you are, you are feeling pretty good about your money management skills right about now. But you do need to save some dollars.

I have a foolproof method for beginner savers. Start with your loose change! What do you normally do with it at the end of the day? Pennies, nickels and quarters seem to reproduce in my change purse. So put them to work. Empty them out on a daily basis and dump them into an old fashion piggy bank or a jar.

You’ll be surprised at how much you have at the end of the month. My husband collects on average $60 a month. Now take this one step further, every time you get a $5 bill in change put it in the piggy bank also. These add up a faster than quarters!

Next identify what you are going to do with those savings. Could be the beginnings of your emergency fund or make it “Your Dinner Out” fund, “The Rent a DVD” fund,  the college or as we’re doing the “We’re going to Disney World” fund,

If you have kids get them involved. See what they are willing to contribute to a family vacation fund or their college fund. Look for ways to save on your everyday purchases and take every opportunity to give the kids a money lesson while shopping.

But beware of false savings. Let me explain. You are out shopping – shopping as in recreation for its cooler at the mall then it is at home kind of shopping, and you find something that is wonderful and it’s on sale and you can save 50% and the fact that it’s on sale seduces you into buying it.

You really didn’t save anything! You spent money!

So if you’re lacking the thrift gene try shopping naked. No credit card and just enough money to buy lunch or an ice cream for everyone. Remember the “Devil made me do it” routine. Well you just fell for it!

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