Can’t save money, help! I have no savings and need to learn where to begin!
We have all been there. Let’s face it saving is hard. In our crazy life, we are tempted every day by products and services that we do not need that want to take your hard-earned money. So what can you do about it? How can you become a better saver and truly save for the things that matter to you?
Here is the good news, more Americans are saving every day. In just the past five years you can see the US saving rate has gone from 7% to over 8% but is still well off the high US saving rate of 17% in 1975.
It is no surprise that the US saving rate is low coming off a multi-year recession and a stagnant recovery in the five years in the chart.
Becoming a better saver is not hard, but takes discipline and small smart choices every day. Check out the Thrifty Rich Mindset to see even more ideas on how to change the way you spend money.
So Let’s see if I can offer some help and explore some ways not only improve your savings rate but to surpass the national average!
What are reasons to save money?
The first step in understanding why to save money is knowing the reasons why. You can do many searches for reasons to save money and hundreds of articles will appear. Everything from saving for vacations to buying a house will come up. No doubt, it can be overwhelming and discouraging.
Here is a great post that gives you the top ten reasons to save.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Save for your Emergency Fund
You never know what life is going to throw at you. Job loss, accident, house disaster, who knows. The important thing for this is to have enough reserves to pay your necessary expenses for at least three months (six months is far better if you can reach that).
According to Banke Rate 2/3 of Americans don’t have enough in savings to cover six months of expenses. If you can save at least that amount, you are far ahead than most!
Save for investments
I think this is one that so many people discount. We have all know about the stock market, interest accounts, property, etc. There are many articles about the importance of compound interest and how powerful it is. So if all the benefits are so well known, how come this is not a larger priority?
I believe the primary reason is fear. The fear to lose money, the fear of making a bad investment, or the fear of simply not understanding how to invest. These are all understandable, but just so many things in life have far greater risks that we engage in every day. Like driving. A bad investment is not going to hurt you like a bad car wreck. Point is, learn what your risk really is and way that against the benefits.
So, here are the benefits. Smart investments can compound your savings and accelerate your net worth in ways that your monthly paycheck never can. Most wealthy individuals are not wealthy because of their job income, they are wealthy because of their investments. Those that are wealthy just from income and have no investments soon become non-wealthy when their income stops (much like the lottery player that wins a large sum of cash).
Read about an actual story of someone that became wealthy.
Save for Experiences
I like this one most of all after the basics. Why, because an experience is something you can grow yourself with. It might be traveling, learning a new skill, spending time with someone special, learning a language, or any other thing that is unique to you. Saving for what matters really should be saving for things that satisfy your self-being.
So many people tell me I am saving for a car, or some expensive material thing. Sure that is fine, but a car is not going to bring you self growth, it will never be as good as it was at the moment it was first purchased, and it will eventually leave you worth very little.
An experience can last a lifetime, it can open new opportunities, and it can make you happy.
Simple reasons to save: Saving helps me achieve security for the future and can open new opportunities that all me to grow.
Don’t worry about how much to save, for what, and when. Those answers will come in time. The most important thing to remember is that savings, any amount, opens doors and opportunities. The more you save, the more opportunities you give yourself in the future.
Why saving money for the future is important?
So, now that you know the most important reason to save money, the next question naturally is why save money for the future?
Again, it comes back to opportunities. Savings helps you build sums of money that can grow in purchasing power over time and be used to help you secure your future.
For example, saving a small percentage of your income every paycheck now helps you retire with money in the future. This is the most basic reason many people contribute to a retirement plan.
What they don’t tell you, is savings can be much more powerful than just a retirement vehicle. If you can save enough and control spending, put the money to work, and stay disciplined, you can retire early, travel more, and live debt-free. It all comes down to the choices you make every day.
How can I build good daily habits to help be save?
Saving can be broken down to one basic element. What is good enough.
Here at ThrifyRich, we want our readers to enjoy life, but not to spend on unnecessary items. We are told that we need the newest fashions, fancy coffee, premium water, and nice lunches. But do we???
Many people who don’t have savings also enjoy a premium cup of coffee each day. That cup of coffee over 30 years is more than $90K. Think about that, one simple choice in the morning can have a $90K impact over 30 years.
What about the food we make and the leftovers we don’t eat? What about the $12 lunches, what about the $2 sodas, or how about $70 family dinners?
Saving more every day comes to two simple action items:
- Ask yourself on every purchase: Do I really need this? If yes, is there a cheaper way?
- Pay yourself every time you make a good choice. For example, you were going to buy a soda but said no, track the money saved and move that money to your savings.
If you can do just those two things daily, you will see your savings grow and you will start to become ThriftyRich.
How to become a consistent saver
Now that you know how to make smart daily choices to save money every day, the next step is to add consistency.
Saving money consistently requires accountability. Every smart choice you make should increase your savings and give you more opportunities. It is important to know, however, that those opportunities require daily feeding to materialize in the future.
It will take time, but at some point, you will reach a milestone that you thought was never possible. Imagine if you had just saved $5 a week 5 years ago you would have over $1,300 saved before any compounding interest effects.
How can I learn to save money?
Learning to save money takes all the principles above. It is knowing why you want to save, knowing the difference between necessities and non-necessities, rewarding yourself, and consistency.
It is not hard to know how to save money, there are many saving techniques, coupons, and other resources to help you save. The hard part is the discipline to know that you saved and to move that money into savings.
You can be the best at savings, but still, have no savings!
To build savings, you have to recognize when you saved, make a conscious effort to move that savings to a savings account, and repeat.
It is not enough to just save, while good, it does not build your savings account.
I can’t save money, Help! Here is your summary.
Building savings is a daily activity that you can win if you know why you are saving, the impact it has over time, and the discipline to account for the things you save on.
Always remember to keep things simple, know the opportunities that savings open for you, and that small choices today can lead to big impacts tomorrow.
Saving is a personal choice between the wants of today and the needs of tomorrow.
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