Money management is a struggle for many families in today's economy.
Despite signs of improvement, many families are still living paycheck to paycheck.
Why Is It So Hard to Save?
For many, it's to live in the "here and now." Live for today and tomorrow will take care of itself.
We need the new car, we need the big screen TV, and we need the snowmobile and cable, and smartphones. Really?
Do you really need all those things — I mean, really, really need them? I think not.
Do you need those things now at the expense of saving something for the future?
The secret of saving is sacrifice. Not forever, but for a clearly defined time period.
Here's the rule: "If you will sacrifice and live for a short period of time like most people WON'T, you can live the rest of your life like most people CAN'T."
In short, sacrifice what you want, and concentrate solely on what you need—food, rent, utilities, housing, transportation, clothing, and medical.
If you don't need it, then save it.
You don't have to live this way forever. Once you have finances under control, life becomes so much better.
Stress is a thing of the past, sleep is sound and pleasant, and family time is more enjoyable.
How Much Should I Save?
If your take-home pay is $15 an hour ($31,200 per year), you should save at least 10%, or around $312 a month.
Let's round that down to $75 per week or $300 monthly for easy math. So somehow, you need to save $10.00 each day for 30 days.
If you can't save ten percent, then save five. Suppose you can't save five, then save one percent. Save something each month.
Track What You Spend
If you pick up a $5 latte on the way to work, the problem is solved. Brew coffee at home and save $25 a week.
Look at your budget. List every bill that comes into your house for a month—utilities, car payments, rent or mortgage, credit cards, medical, food, clothing, etc.
Where can you cut? Eliminating credit card bills is the same as getting a raise in pay.
Clipping coupons and buying food on sale is a great way to save each month. Look for ways to reduce your spending.
Consolidate car trips so you drive less; that can save big bucks when gas prices are high.
Which Americans Save the Most?
You might think it's the people with the most money. It's not. The middle class are the biggest savers of the income groups studied.
• Those with households earning between $50-$75,000 a year save more than 15 percent of their income each payday.
• Only 17 percent of those making $75,000 or more put that much away.
• The lowest income saves the least. No real surprise when money is tight, but at least 8 percent save at least 15 percent of their monthly incomes.
• Ages 18-29 are the worst at saving—eighteen percent save nothing and 37 percent save 5 percent or less.
You don't have to save if you are invincible and will live forever.
Some Final Thoughts On Living Better in the Future
People 65 or over are all over the place because of their varying incomes and health issues.
Some cannot save anything, while those prepared for retirement can still put away the desired 15 percent.
I was a late bloomer when it came to saving. I was one of the invincible ones who believed tomorrow should be dealt with tomorrow.
I finally realized I needed to track expenses and rein in my spending. When I accomplished that, my financial worries seemed to vanish in a very short period.
I found I was prepared for unexpected expenses.
Thankfully, I woke up in time before I crossed the point of no return. I hope you will too.
Thanks for reading. I hope you'll subscribe and make a small pledge to keep these stories coming. Thank you again.
About the Creator
Author, Radio Talk Show Host, blogger, YouTuber, Vietnam Vet, half-fast guitar player, average cook, and a really nice guy. I read all my articles; you should too and subscribe. Thanks very much.