Your opportunity to save regularly and automatically may be hidden. Everyone wants or wishes they could save more money. However, many people are overwhelmed by bills and regular life expenses. Let’s be honest. It can be difficult to have the willpower to save. In fact, many Americans over the course of the last thirty years have come to make saving money regularly optional.
Saving money is not optional if you care about your family.
See past blog entries to find out about our “1% Savings Plan” if you don’t currently save regularly. Use this plan to get on course and begin developing your own strategies to boost your savings. We can help you with a path to savings and eventual wealth with the use of this plan and other strategies you find on this site and on http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
In today’s economy, things often come down to the “Big Three” (this is not a reference to Detroit auto makers because that “Big Three” frankly does not exist anymore):
1. Cutting expenses.
2. Generating additional income.
3. Reduce & eliminate debt (especially credit card debt).
On this blog, we focus on “What’s Important Now.”
You should really become focused on these things:
1. It’s not what you earn or how much you save, it is the percentage of your after tax income that you save and invest.
2. You should have an emergency savings fund that includes 15 to 18 months of expenses in actual savings. If you don’t, you should look at ways to boost your savings to meet this expectation (see the “1% Savings Plan” above).
3. When you sit down to pay your bills, call each one and ask them for ideas on how to cut your bill by 10 – 15%. Be open to their ideas about bundling or reducing services. Don’t be afraid to put them under pressure and ask to talk to supervisors. Tell them you have been hit by the financial recession and need help. If they identify ways to reduce their bill, you MUST take this money you “save” and put it into the form of a new “bill” to your actual savings. Any reduction allows you to boost your savings.
4. Focus on reducing your credit card debt by keying on the cards you have with the highest interest rates. If you can consolidate your cards into a low interest credit card without hurting your credit or your boosting your paying interest spike, DO IT. Pay the minimums on the cards with the lowest interest rates and load up payments as far over the minimum as you can on those at the highest level. Focus on one highest interest rate card at a time until you pay it off. Then, roll on to the next one. And stop spending money thru credit cards. Put your paid off cards in a safe, and make one purchase per quarter with these cards and immediately pay it off.
5. Look for opportunities outside of your primary job where you can boost income and look for passive income opportunities. Use 100% of any of this money for boosting savings (until you reach 15 to 18 months of expenses in your emergency savings fund) and then use 100% of this money for low fee investing. While we don’t endorse anything on our blogs, we encourage mutual fund investing if you also focus on the lowest expenses.
The time for playing it loose has passed away. The time for optional savings has passed away. The time to be embarrassed about negotiating is dead.
Hear my warning. Your family needs to be on the move in terms of building savings regularly.
SAVE MORE THAN MONEY
In this country we don’t do enough to teach our children about money, managing money, saving regularly (and automatically), compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor and one of the best things by sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group.
If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!