Dear beautiful people- I want to help you heal your money by offering free, honest, and sound financial advice which has personally helped me achieve excellent results. We only ever hear what we are ready to hear and there is no way of knowing when or why a certain life lesson lands for us at a given time. It is my hope that what I am about to say lands for you right now and you take immediate action. No, it does not involve a sales pitch to buy something from me. It is straight, honest, compassionate advice you may have heard before and which may at this time land for you. Money talk is something that rarely happens in our culture and we need to change that. Here’s the golden advice that WILL improve your life path.
There are two important actions you can take to acquire savings.
The first and most important action to take is to open a retirement fund either with a Roth or a 401K. Why is this important? Retirement investing is the only form of investing in the stock market that does not charge any interest fees to do so. Even millionaires take advantage of such a situation. Retirement investing is one of the few expressions of care our capitalist system offers its citizens.
The sooner you set up retirement investing the better. If you are 16 and reading this right now, you could potentially retire at age 40 if you contributed the maximum amount allowed every year. Do what amount you can- every month. No matter what your age, every single month, you need to put some amount of money away into a retirement savings account.
The next action you can take after setting up an automatic monthly deposit of some amount into either a roth savings or a 401 k is to also set up a second automatic deposit into a personal savings account. This will create a volume of money (small at first) which will give you some breathing room and allow you to choose your health over the need to take work. Being in debt forces us to make choices based on money. Having a bit of savings enables us to set our own work pace and feel more in control of our time and how we spend it.
A good goal to save is three months of expenses. Make a list of all the expenses you have in one month including rent or mortgage, water, power bills, dental, and all the other reoccurring bills that happen every month. Then add about $100 to that for extra spending money and multiply that monthly sum by three. That is the amount you should aim to build up in a savings account. Do you spend $5000 a month? Have $15,000 sitting in a savings account. Building up this sum goes faster than you might think if you put your mind to it. When I started to build this safety net, for several years, I dedicated all money gifts I received for birthdays and holidays to that account as well as a consistent monthly sum. The money grew faster than I expected it to.
Time is real and you can make it work for you. You do not need to make a lot of money to have a lot when you are in your 60’s. If you save $20 a day starting now, (which you do have and are spending whether you realize it or not) you will save $7,300 a year.
If you saved $7,300 a year in ten years you would have- Seventy-three thousand dollars.
That is what you would have if you put $20 under your mattress every day for twenty years.
But! If you put that money each year into a retirement fund that earned interest over time (either a Roth IRA or a 401k) you would earn at least (but probably more than) 10% interest on that money. 10% interest a year on $36,000 equals: $692,924.00
10% is less than what the stock market has averaged since 1926. So it is likely you would earn more than 10%. Yes, it is true the stock market is an uncertain thing. But so is your mattress. So is all of life. If you do not burry any nuts now there is a 100% guarantee that you will not have that savings later. But if you do burry a few nuts now, you open up to the possibility (the likelihood) of having financial resources when your energy levels begin to slow down and you begin to enter a time of rest and reflection.
There is no way you have $692,924 at this time. And you may not even have $7,300. But what you do have right now is $20 a day, and time.
People do not like to talk about money in this country. Why? I have no idea. But we need to start talking about it. This is not a sales pitch and there is no catch. I am simply a person who found her way out of debt and I wish to offer the same honest, sound financial advice I received in a time of need. You have likely been trained to tune out and gloss over words like “Roth IRA” or “401k” or even “retirement.” which means that the concept of retirement is not a reality for you. The thing is, you are getting older. You can not work forever. And if you spend all the money you earn from working, when you stop working you will not have any money. When it is warm out, we often don’t think to bring a sweater for when it will get cold later? Please. Take care of yourself in your later years by investing in savings now. Seed money grows over time. Put away small amounts starting today. Trust your mattress or the national financial system. But do try to trust something.
How? How do I do it?
If you are open to saving money with the national financial system-
Get online and set up a reoccurring transfer of at least $20 a day from your checking account into a savings account and consider this savings account a one-way river in. Money goes in but it does not flow out. It stays there and builds.
Make this transfer automatic so that you don’t think about it.
You may be afraid to do this because you may be living close to negative funds at this time and struggling to keep your account in the positive. But you can do this. If not $20, then $10. And if not $10, transfer $5 a day into a savings situation. $5 is what you paid for a cup of coffee. You have $5. And you have time. So use time, starting now. Make it automatic. It sounds scary and expensive to set up auto withdrawals daily, I know. But you can do it.
The thing is- you are most certainly spending $10 or $20 a day on something. A meal, a book, an Amazon purchase. All I’m saying is that you also spend $20 a day on your savings account. Consider it a non-negotiable monthly expense like paying your power bill or your Netflix membership or your Uber ride.
There are better places than others for you to put that automatic savings which will utilize the time factor in your favor. Under your matress will earn you nothing but exactly what you put in. A savings account with a financial institution connected to the stock market will actually give you money for putting your money into it. Some savings accounts are better than others.
News about savings accounts…
Banks are no longer a smart place to have a savings account. They pay pennies of interest annually because they have very large overhead expenses with brick and mortar buildings with employes etc. With the rise of online banking, credit card companies have amassed enough power now to behave like banks without the expense. Credit card companies offer the highest interest rates on savings accounts available.
At the time of this writing, Discover Bank is offering the best % rates on savings accounts. There are other places offering competitive interest rates such as Barclay’s and Capital One. Opening a savings account with an online institution paying good interest and connecting to your checking account is easy. Setting up an automatic drip fund (of $10 or more) into a high paying savings account is easy. Google “highest interest rate savings account” and you will see the most current options
*Keep in mind, this savings account is NOT the same as your retirement account. A Roth IRA or a 401k must be established separately and fed with your hard-earned money separately. Budget for $400 a month going to a savings account (or as much as you can afford) and also budget for a small drip of $10 to $20 a week into a high yield savings account like Discover Bank offers. An automated daily, weekly, or monthly transfer of a nominal amount is the key to saving money. If you don’t put money away, you will spend it and it will be gone.
What I am talking about is putting away small amounts of money over time. Amounts small enough that you do not feel it. Some amount. Any amount. It will grow! This is not even math really, just a law of nature. If you put one pebble in a pool every day, the pool will fill up with pebbles. Respect the pebble.
The reason you may be wary or distrustful of what I am suggesting you do is because no one ever talked about it and we have expectations of being taken advantage of when it comes to money. Everyone in this culture is working really hard to get us to part with our money. And we part with it in a thousand ways every day. All I am saying is- Don’t part with 10% of your income. Keep it. Putting your money into a retirement and a savings fund is not parting with your money. It is giving that money to your future self to use later. This is what David Bach calls- Paying yourself first. Before you buy stuff with the paycheck you earned, pay yourself 10% of that paycheck amount and put that 10% into a savings situation. That way you will always have money to explore life and learn in your own way.
You may think that you can not do what has been described here because you have credit card debt. You may believe that you have to pay off any debts before you can put money towards savings. This is inaccurate logic. You can do both at the same time. You need to do both at the same time.
You should pay yourself first even if you have credit card debt. Definitely, pay down that debt, but don’t wait until it is gone to start the drip fund or the retirement fund. Do all three at once. And see Frog Medicine’s advice about getting out of debt.
If this conversation has spoken to you and you’d like more resources for honest, sound financial advice- go to the library and find the following books:
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach.
The Automatic Millionaire By David Bach
The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught me by Richard Paul Evans
David Bach, along with many many other financial advisors will articulate this advice in great detail as well as give lots of other first-rate suggestions about gathering wealth. If you are over 50 you will find his book: Start Late Finish Rich more helpful than the first. But both are very useful. The key here if you are no longer in your 20’s or 30’s is to KNOW that it doesn’t matter. You can still accumulate substantial wealth that will enable you to live comfortably in your older years. Don’t let frustration and regret keep you from doing what you can do now to improve the situation.
If you start today, wealth will grow faster than you think it will. And what you grow will ALWAYS be better than nothing!
Paul Richard Evans also has very usable advice about how to “win in the margins” and earn more money in easy ways you may not have thought of. His book has excellent advice on how to increase income and decrease spending in ways that don’t feel constrictive. By identifying what is important to you, you can eliminate wasteful spending that doesn’t actually contribute to your happiness.
I hope you take these steps and secure your future!
Be well, live well!