The best way to start saving money, is to start saving money.
The second most important step is to keep going. The third most important step is to not rob the bank.
There are two kinds of people in this world; those that spend first, then save and those that save first and then spend what is left over.
Thing is, the spenders always end up working for the savers.
If you look for ways to cut spending so that you can “find” money to save, you’ll be forever broke. It simply doesn’t work. It’s just human nature that most of us increase our lifestyles to match or exceed our incomes.
Everything in this consumer driven culture encourages and rewards the behavior of spending first and saving second.
And if you don’t break that cycle… that cycle will break you.
So, step one is to save…just save. Take a predetermined amount of money each month and put it in a savings account. If you are not saving any money now, start saving five percent of your income. That’s not enough, but it’s a start. Do that for six to twelve months to prove to yourself that you can do it.
Then…up the ante to ten percent. Do that for a year and increase it again to fifteen percent.
Will that cause some economic stress and pain? Oh yea, because if you are like most people, you’re used to spending everything you make, plus a little bit more.
The economic stress and pain caused by implementing a savings habit pales in comparison to the horrific pain of retiring with insufficient funds to live on.
So, step one is to start. Step two is to keep going.
And the final step is to not rob the bank.
People lie to themselves all the time by calling something a savings account, when in reality, it’s a “put and take” account. In order to make progress towards financial independence, you have to make a commitment to long-term savings. Saving money for four months to buy a big ticket item like a big screen TV or a vacation in the dead of winter is still just more consumption on the installment plan. It’s not savings.
The best way to start saving money…is to start. Then keep going. Then, don’t rob the bank.