But the tough economic times that hit the U.S. in 2007 through 2009 were a wake-up call for many people, causing the public's view of saving to shift. If you'd like to make regular saving a part of your life, read on to find out how to conquer the first step: finding that extra money.
You can begin by paying attention to these top money wasting activities.
For example, a Coke at a convenience store might cost you a dollar, while you can go to the grocery store and buy a 12 pack for $4. If you tend to pull over for a drink, buy a 12-pack and keep it in your car. If you visit convenience stores often, the annual savings of cutting out these visits can be tremendous. (Follow these five simple steps to keep your spending under control. Read 5 Ways To Control Emotional Spending.)
Cell Phone Plans
You should also scan through your cell phone plan for added features like text messaging and mobile internet. If you aren't really using these features, get rid of them - they're costing you money each month!
Assuming an average price of $1.50 for a fountain soft drink, that totals $12 a week, $48 a month, $624 a year. Just cutting out this one item from your meal could mean significant savings that could go into something much more productive, such as a retirement savings plan. If you invest $624 at the market average of 9% a year every year, you would have almost $32,000 at the end of 20 years. So dine out, but opt for water!
Unnecessary Bank Fees
Credit Card Fees
Unless you have a poor credit history, there is no reason to pay annual credit card fees. A host of Visa (NYSE:V), MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Discover (NYSE:DFS) cards have no annual fee, yet many people pay up to $100 a year for the privilege of holding a credit card. Unless you're an ultra-wealthy, exclusive holder of an elite-level credit card with exclusive perks, most people should not be paying annual credit card fees. And speaking of credit cards, make sure you make a payment on time every month, even if it's the minimum. Many credit cards charge $39 monthly late fee charges, charges which accrue interest along with your existing balance.
Financial AdvisorSavings is as crucial as ever, as we deal with life changes and our needs for the future. Here are some essential steps to get started, now.
Personal FinanceIf you'd like to save more money, first you'll need to conquer the first step: coming up with the cash.
RetirementIf you establish these money-saving habits and patiently allow your wealth to build, you will be taking some huge steps forward in making your financial future more secure.
Personal FinanceWhen money is tight early in your career, saving may seem a waste of time – but even a small amount can pay big dividends, including in peace of mind.
TaxesYou don't need an MBA to learn how to save money and invest in your future.
RetirementMany people have little saved to live on in retirement. Thankfully there's ways to boost the amount you have saved.
RetirementBoosting your savings rate by just 1% a year can go a long way toward increasing the amount of money you amass for your retirement.
RetirementThe terms saving and investing are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are very different and extremely important to understand in order to achieve security and prosperity.
Personal FinanceDeciding whether saving money for a large purchase makes more sense than going into debt is more complicated than you might think.
Financial Advisor"Spend now! Don't worry about retirement," say some experts. Could they possibly be right?