BOSTON (CBS) – Saving more always seems to rank in the top five resolutions for the New Year.

Our national savings rate has increased so folks are getting it. Currently it’s 3.5% as of last November. They are also getting the importance of having an emergency fund.

Almost every goal we establish or decision we make as adults has a financial component. If the goal is to buy a house you do need some money saved to start the process. Want to send your kids to college? Full scholarships are rare these days. Most aid comes in the form of loans or work study programs.

What about a comfortable retirement? You need money to have a comfortable retirement. The average monthly Social Security check for this year is just over $1200! Could you live on that?

Can you buy gas for the car, pay the electric bill, pay the rent, buy your medication and eat for $1229 a month? Maybe if you are living in a trailer in Florida!

To save more you really do need a plan. What are you willing to do differently to accomplish saving more? What lifestyle changes are you willing to make?

Set up a Spending Plan. If I use the word budget here you will run and hide. You can spend your money but spend it more wisely and if you are able to save on everything you purchase you could have those extras dollars needed to achieve your goals.

What does your employer offer in the way of a retirement plan at work? Do they offer a match to the 401(k)? Start there! Find out what you are eligible for. Contribute at least 3% when you first start. Then consider increasing your contribution level every 6 months or whenever you receive a raise.

Does your employer offer any other automatic savings plans? So easy when someone else does it for you.

In my research I came across Smarty Pig. A new way to save. If our grandparents wanted something they saved for it. This is the concept used at Smarty Pig.

They debit your checking account each month and other people can also make contributions to your account as well. So if it’s a wedding you are saving for you can get help from your family and friends.

This is a smart way to save for Christmas as well. Start now and you will have the dollars you need next December. This is an online Christmas Club.

Saving 10% of your net pay would be a good beginning. Saving 10-40% on everything you purchase is a way to achieve that.

One more thing:  Always be sure to budget in some fun or you will never stick to your savings goal.


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