Small and Steady Can Win the Savings Race

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Remember: your savings is not the same as your retirement. Savings are designed to help you get through tough times (such as a layoff or slow business cycle) as well as an immediate expense outside your budget (such as a medical bill or a major home repair).

Experts say we should have enough savings in the bank to cover six months’ worth of expenses. This can be a very intimidating goal if you try to tackle it all at once. But if you work on saving one month’s worth of expenses per year, you may find it much more attainable.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Determine the amount of your monthly expenses (for example, $6,000). 
  2. Divide that number by 12 ($6,000 divided by 12 = $500).
  3. Create a plan to save that amount ($500 in our example) each month.

By saving $500/month, within a year you will at least have enough saved for one month’s worth of expenses.

Here are some tips for saving:

  • If you use direct deposit, pay yourself first. Allocate a specific sum to go directly to your savings account.
  • Set aside a regular, modest sum every week. Smaller amounts cause less pain while adding up handsomely in the long run.
  • Keep the savings in an account you can easily access. This will help you avoid using your credit card unexpected expenses come up.

Using this strategy will take some time to achieve your ultimate savings goal, but steady application will see you across the finish line.

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