Tear down your Barriers to Saving and Cross the Bridge to your Financial Success

21 03 2012

Featured in Military.com’s Money Section, Military Saves’ Newsletter – March 2012 and FINRA Foundation’s Save and Invest

What barriers stand in your way when it comes to saving?  Everyone faces challenges at some point in time.  However, failure to overcome these obstacles may prevent and delay your financial success.

Postponing to save can be costly in the long-run.  The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) states “the more years you have to save, the more effective it is. So the earlier you begin. . .and the longer you are able to leave the money in your account, the greater the opportunity you have to enjoy the benefits of compounding”.

You will see from the chart below that postponing saving two years yields a loss of $440.  It may not sound like much, but every little bit helps in the grand scheme of saving.  In fact, that’s the theme for Military Saves – “Start Small, Think Big”.

 

What are some obstacles when it comes to saving?

“No pain, no gain”

  • High expenses.  [You] “My bills make up my entire paycheck”. [Me] “Allocate money into savings from a portion of your entire paycheck”.  If you feel like your expenses overpower your income, review your expenses and decide which to cancel or minimize.  Remember, to live within your means but below your needs.  That means take home pay should always exceed monthly expenses.
  • Low Income.  [You] “If only I earned more, I could save more”.  [Me] “You can save money with the income you currently earn”.  The stigma associated with high-income earners saving more is false.  Truth: financial problems don’t discriminate. It affects all ages and social classes.  Statistics have shown modest income earners whom saved diligently have an extremely high net worth.
  • Lack of Time.  [You]  “I don’t have time to save”.  [Me] “Your time to save starts today”.  Set a day to review your current financial situation every month.  And each month forward set aside time again to conduct this review.  The fact is – you cannot afford to procrastinate.  As America Saves states “One of the most important things you can learn in life is how to save money.  It’s the first step to getting where you want to be. . . . once you start it gets easier and easier”.
  • Lack of Information.  [You] “Saving is hard, I don’t know where to find knowledgeable information about it”. [Me] “You’re in luck, there are plenty of resources for military and civilian alike”.  Your boots on ground for financial success is a click away.  Military Saves’ Resources and Save and Invest can point you in the right direction.

Lets turn your barriers into bridges!

“A penny saved is a penny earned”

  • Begin with a BudgetThe use of a budget helps identify money that enters your household and how the money will leave.  When your finances are written down it becomes increasingly clear as to where you stand financially per month and identifies areas where you can scale back spending and increase saving.  Action Plan Track your Spending.
  • Change your Thinking.  Stay motivated, push forward and choose to save.  Find your tribe – surround yourself with those people who share your financial goals.  Avoid keeping up with the Jones’.  Remain positive and stay on track with your saving goals.
  • Shed Debt.  See what Military One Source has to say about shedding debt.  Saving may not feel like an option when debt is lying heavily on your shoulders.  However, paying off debt will free up funds for depositing into a saving or retirement account.  Action PlanManage your Debt.
  • Programs Offer Help.  With tax time around the corner, Bonds Make it Easy points out how easy it is to purchase bonds from your tax return.  The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is another great resource for saving with expenses charged to each TSP account being approximately 25 cents per $1,000 of investment!

Excited about saving?  Track your progress with FINRAs Savings Calculator!  Your mission:  break down the stumbling blocks you face because the cost of waiting to save can be detrimental to your financial health.

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One response

21 03 2012
Eli

I should’ve started my Thrift contributions years ago! Thank you for showing me my ‘bridges’.

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