Why is it so many of us choose NOT to save money? Turns out, it has little to do with our income and expenses. Researchers at Dartmouth and Harvard Universities studied lower income people who easily outsave higher-income earners by an average of $100,000, as well as people with huge incomes who didn't save a dime. What did they learn?
- For one thing, some people simply check out. The researchers say many of us don't save because it's easy to spend in our culture, and we're on autopilot. We don't think of money management as something we need to do. We'll schedule things like laundry and movie night, but neglect to sit down and focus on our finances.
- And, we procrastinate. We know that someday we're going to need money, but our lives are so hectic and things are so expensive that we keep putting it off until things settle down - which, of course, never happens. Or we're convinced that our "million dollar idea" - a business we're going to start or the novel we're going to write - will take care of our retirement needs. When it comes to money, we have to be more practical!
So if you're ready to give your bank account a boost, here are some tips we got from our friends at Woman's Day magazine.
- Bank your raise. Mary Hunt is a financial expert and author of Live Your Life For Half the Price, and she says the next time you get a raise, or a bonus, save at least half of it. Let's say your raise gives you an extra $200 a month. If you save half of that - $100 a month - at 6% interest for 10 years, that money will grow into more than $16,000! You won't miss it, because you never saw it in the first place.
- Save the payment. When you pay off something, like a car loan or a credit card, take the amount of money you were paying each month and add it to your savings instead. A $330 monthly payment to yourself over five years turns into more than $23,000! Enough to buy your next car with CASH.