NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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The Savings Habit

The Savings Habit

            You know it’s important to save money, whether it’s for an emergency fund, your retirement, or to buy something special. But it’s not always easy to stash any spare cash.  The Federal Trade Commission has a few suggestions to make the savings habit easier to start and continue.

  • Consider yourself a creditor. When you pay your bills, write a check to yourself. Decide on a realistic amount and then deposit the money into a savings, investment, or retirement account. If you find that you don’t have enough money to cover all your expenses, write down the amount you are short and look for ways to trim your budget: Borrow books from the library rather than buying new; brew your own coffee rather than buying it; consider raising the deductible on your auto insurance; buy store brands instead of name brands; cancel subscriptions to magazines you don’t read.
  • Once you establish a regular savings plan, consider increasing your monthly deposit if you get a pay raise, or when you pay off a debt. For example, once you pay off your car loan, student loan, or other installment debt, deposit that amount into a savings account. Once your toddler is out of diapers, deposit the amount you spent on diapers into savings. You won’t miss the money if it’s put into savings, but more than likely, you’ll find a way to spend it if it’s in your checking account.
  • If you need some fast cash, consider selling items around the house you no longer use, either online, via a newspaper ad, at a garage sale, or at a local consignment shop. When you sell online, you may use an auction or classified ad site. Check the sites for policies and procedures. When you agree to consign items to a shop, you’re a consignor. You still own your stuff, but you give the shop the right to sell it. The shop becomes the consignee. When the items sell, you get a percentage of the selling price that you agreed to in advance. A profit split of 50/50 or 60/40, with the higher percentage going to the shop, is typical.
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