How to Save at Any Age
This feature originally published on livesmartcolorado.colostate.edu where you can find unbiased money management strategies, research-based information about food safety and healthy eating, and more!
The word “savings” initiates a wide range of responses from individuals. Some might think of savings as a passport or roadmap to their future or being more prepared for life’s hiccups. Youth may hear the word savings and wonder what that really means for them; while others may think about savings and feel anxiety or stress.
The good news is that savings can be a positive addition to your life at any age. In fact, 78% of Americans already have a savings account according to The Ascent Survey of 2,000 Americans from 2022.
“While we cannot change the past, we can embrace and take hold of our future.”
Let’s Get Going
We often hold onto the false thinking that it’s too late to save money. That just isn’t the case. While we cannot change the past, we can embrace and take hold of our future.
Press the “Easy Button” and start putting just $5 a week in your piggy bank at home. At the end of this year alone, your effort will yield you $260. Gathering up an additional $20 a month could be as simple as cutting spending on eating out, buying two fewer lattes per month, or dropping one streaming device service that you don’t use.
What Are You Saving For?
When we think about savings, people often get hung up on what they should be saving for. There could be so many different priorities, it’s hard to know what to focus on. Your savings goals and/or categories might be simple and less expensive (such as a bike) or more complex such as saving for early retirement.
These strategies can help you set up a game plan for savings!
- Write down your savings priorities to help you visually see what you need or would like to save for.
- Research the estimated total cost of your savings items or goal. *Be sure to consider inflation costs in your total as well.
- Map out a timeline to see when you would like to complete your savings goals or when you will need access to those funds.
Ideas on Where to Get the Money
- Set up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck and divert funds into a separate savings account.
- Start contributing funds to an interest-bearing account such as a certificate of deposit, money market account, or other investment account to potentially increase your account totals sooner. * Investors should consult with a financial advisor and tax accountant before investing in certain accounts as they may be subject to market volatility and loss.
- Limit access to your savings account by keeping them offline or not readily available on your mobile devices. You can also put them in accounts that limit the number of transactions you make before being charged a fee as an incentive not to move money out frequently.
- Talk with your tax advisor to learn about potential tax breaks by contributing to designated retirement or medical accounts (i.e. Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Health Savings Account (HSA).
- Don’t forget the “Free Money” at work. Many employers offer retirement plans for their employees and will offer a “match” (i.e. If you contribute 3% to your retirement account, they will match that up to 3%). Contact your employer today to learn more.
- Grab a second or part-time job (after-school, a weekend gig, etc.) as a little extra income each month can go a long way to meeting your savings goals.