BOSTON (CBS) – Currently the U.S. savings rate is 3.9%. That was for the month of May. This is good compared to a few years back when it was a negative number. But it was 5% last year at this time. What that tells me is people are spending more compared to a year ago.

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 close to 80% of you are, you are feeling pretty good about your money management skills right about now. But to achieve your goals you’ll need to save more dollars.  (77%)

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 or my husband’s pants pockets. 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 $50 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!

Our 6-year-old granddaughter is learning the difference between the coins. She figured out the dollars easily, but the dime has her confused. So she loves to take the money out and count it and put it in piles. And she thinks saving is a really good idea.

Why I asked, she explained “you get a whole bunch of money and it adds up and then you can buy something fun”. For the record, she bought a doll’s bed for her American Girl doll.

Next, identify what you are going to do with those savings. Could be the beginnings of your emergency fund or make it “Your Entertainment/Fun” fund or if you have young kids “We’re going to Disney World” fund,

Get the kids involved. See what they are willing to contribute. You might be surprised. This is a great opportunity to include a couple of money lessons.

Once you are in the grove so to speak start saving on your everyday purchases and take every opportunity to give the kids a money lesson while shopping.

One more thing:  Beware of false savings. Let me explain. You are out shopping – shopping as in recreation for it’s 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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