Why is it that so many people choose NOT to save money? It has very little to do with your income and expenses. Researchers at Dartmouth and Harvard Universities studied people with lower incomes who easily outsaved higher-income earners - by an average of $100,000 as well as people with huge incomes who didn't save a dime.
So what did they learn?
For one, some people simply check out. The researchers say many of us don't save because it's easy to spend in our culture, and we're on autopilot. We don't think of money management as something we need to do. We'll schedule things like laundry and movie night, but neglect to sit down and focus on our finances.
Also - we procrastinate. We know that someday we're going to need money, but our lives are so hectic and things are so expensive, that we keep putting it off until things settle down - which, as we know, never happens. Or we're convinced that our "million dollar idea" - that business we're going to start or the novel we're going to write - is going to take care of our retirement needs. When it comes to money, we have to be more practical than that.
So, ready to give your bank account a boost? Here are a couple of tips:
- Bank your raise. Mary Hunt is a financial expert and author of Live Your Life For Half the Price, and she says the next time you get a raise, or a bonus, save at least half of it. Let's say your raise gives you an extra $200 a month. If you save half of that - $100 a month - at 6% interest for 10 years, that money will grow into more than $16,000! You won't miss it, because you never saw it in the first place.
- Save the payment. When you pay off something, like a car loan or a credit card, take the amount of money you were paying each month and add it to your savings instead. A $330 monthly payment to yourself over five years turns into more than $23,000! Enough to buy your next car with CASH.