BOSTON (CBS) – We want to save more. It’s at the top of most consumers New Year’s resolution list. But stuff gets in the way and we begin to make excuses for our spending.

Our national savings rate is around 5%. Would I like to see it higher, you bet I would. We need to change our mindset about money. We like instant gratification but if you don’t put some away for a rainy day there will be a day of reckoning.

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.

What about a comfortable retirement? And with saving for retirement you will need to learn about investing your money for putting it in a savings account or a CD will not earn you enough dollars to create a comfortable retirement.

The average monthly Social Security check for this year is close to $1,300. Could you live on that?

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 now to accomplish saving more? What life style changes are you willing to make? You will need a spending plan. Where does your money go and why?

First, review your monthly expenses and then compare them to your income. Review this information dispassionately and see where you can cut costs, pay down debt and save more. Fidelity investments has a Savings Planner, a tool to help you rev up your savings.

Look for ways to automatically save at work. Your 401(k) plan, a savings plan to beef up your emergency fund, even Savings Bonds.

As you are spending your money decide to 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.

One more thing:  In my research, I came across a website, Smarty Pig. 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.


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