With a Little Courage and a Lot of Discipline, You Can Make Saving Money a Habit

Meet SHANEIKA MCCRAY, Marketing Coordinator at First Financial Security, Inc. and a member of the Millennial generation. Shaneika would be one of the first to tell you that her generation has fallen behind when it comes to saving money for the future.

Coins in jar with saving, retirement and emergency plan labelsMillennials – adults under age 35 – have a savings rate of -2%, meaning they’re burning through their assets at an alarming rate. Their net worth isn’t much better — $10,400, down 42% from Generation X’s $18,200.1

Older generations aren’t much better when it comes to saving money. In fact, recent studies show that more than 60% of adults have no emergency savings or less than $1,000 in their savings account.2

We asked Shaneika why she thinks so many members of her generation, as well as others, are not saving money, and what advice she’d give someone looking to start saving money. Here’s what she said:

There are many reasons why people aren’t saving. Some of the most common ones sound more like excuses, than actual reasons.

For example, you often hear, “You can’t take the money with you when you die.” When, in fact, people don’t realize that when they die someone has to pay for the funeral arrangements and get their affairs in order. If you have no money saved, then you would be leaving your family to pick up the pieces and all of the costs. Not only will your family be heartsick about your passing, but leaving them with the burden of your financial expenses can cause hardship as well.

Serious Looking Man Examining a BillAnother common excuse is, “I can always start saving later.” The truth of the matter is you want to put time on your side and not against you. If a person took just $10 a month and saved it for 10 years, they would have $14,400 saved. People hear 10 years and think, Oh, that is such a long time, but in the same breath, they’ll look at the calendar and say, “Where has the time gone? It’s already November, but it seems like it was just January.”

Time goes by faster than you think. NOW is the time to start saving. Don’t think about it too much, just start saving. You have to make it a positive habit.

Many people often say they have no idea where to find the extra money to set aside for saving. Take an honest look at your spending habits. You’ll be surprised by what you find.

You can get started saving money by eliminating that latte every morning, or pack a lunch instead of eating out every day. Instead, put the money you would have spent on coffee or food into your savings vehicle. Make it a habit, and you’ll be surprised how quickly that money will add up.

The best advice I could give is start saving money today. Don’t get sidetracked or intimidated when you hear about how much someone else has saved. Everyone’s situation and goals are different. Focus on YOU by remembering you’re doing this for yourself and your future. Get started!

Josh Zumbrun. “Younger generation faces a savings deficit.” WSJ > The Wall Street Journal > U.S. News. Updated Nov. 9, 2014. Zumbrun cites Moody’s Analytics and Federal Data. http://on.wsj.com/1ETQm87

Source: Quentin Fottrell, News Editor. “5 reasons Americans are not saving money.” MarketWatch. http://on.mktw.net/1L3BftY