Start Better Savings Habits Now.
According to recent research, active savers display four distinct characteristics that separate them from those less inclined to stash their cash:
- Savers start early.
- Savers are less hedonistic.
- Savers know their limits and stay within them.
- Savers are happier with their financial situation.
If you're thinking about reining in spending habits, here are some ways to put saving into practice, based on the four characteristics above.Start Early
Translate that to NOW. Instead of looking for more money to save, check your current spending habits. The most obvious way to save is to cut unnecessary expenses – the morning latte, dinners out, impulse buying. If it seems like small change to you, think again. If you buy a $3.50 latte each morning and spend $5 on lunch each day, that's $42.50 a week, or $2,210 a year. Keep track of where you spend money for a month. Then, cut out whatever isn't essential.Become Less Hedonistic
Instant gratification should take a back seat. Think about the long term. Pay down high-interest debt. Plan to only purchase high-ticket items with cash, not credit. If you own a home, pay down the mortgage faster (unless there's a penalty for doing so). Instead of buying the next new thing or high-tech gadget, put money into a retirement account or a 401(k) plan. Start to build an emergency fund. Some experts say you should have enough to cover six months of expenses.Know Your Limits
OK, maybe the idea of budgeting is odious to you. But you could begin by having a specific amount deducted from each paycheck and put into a savings
or retirement account. If you don't see it, you won't miss it. Keeping that train of thought, buy goods and services on sale. Embrace frugality and eschew impulse spending and purchase items based on need, not desire. Pretty soon, you'll see that budgeting is really just living within your means.Don't Worry, Be Happy
Once you have a nest egg, retirement fund and an emergency fund, you'll feel more secure. Financial advisors at Rockland Trust are available to help you build financial security. We can guide you through building an emergency fund, investing for retirement
, even consolidating high-interest debt into payments you can manage.* Source: HSBC Direct ASK (Active Saver Know-How) Research Panel, May 19, 2009.
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