- Money matters
Courtesy: Dr. Bala, Chennai
Dear Friends... Greetings.
This time I want to talk about money. Now more than ever, we need to be building an emergency savings account. In this depressed economy, it is important to have a savings account we can depend on in an emergency. That said, it seems that fewer and fewer people are putting money away. Some of my friends complain that that their money is so tight at the end of the month that it hardly seems worth the effort. I completely understand their point. It can seem daunting to try to put money away when there isn't much available in the first place. But it can be done, and it's important, especially right now, when unexpected expenses could play havoc with your pocketbook.
Building a savings "safety net" is something we all can and should do, especially during this economic downturn we are experiencing. When unexpected expenses arise, people with no savings often have to turn to high interest credit cards. Having to make monthly credit card payments along with high interest payments is a lot of stress on an already tight budget. That is when a savings "safety net" really comes to the rescue!
Putting away 10% of each paycheck helps to build a savings very quickly. However, if that is too much, try 5% or even 1%. The important thing is to make the gesture and effort. Even the smallest amounts can slowly build and provide a positive psychological effect. My friends who have actually done it have been pleased with how quickly their little "nest egg" has grown, and in the end, they often look for more ways to add to it.
There are ways to boost even the tiniest of savings plans. Have a garage or yard sale and put all of the proceeds into your savings account. Save up aluminum cans and then periodically take them to the recycling center at your grocer for cash, which you then add to your savings balance. Make a rule that windfall money, such as rebates, tax refunds, cash gifts and such go directly into your savings as well, and follow through no matter how tempting it may be to spend that money. You'll be glad you did.
You can also add to your savings by giving something up. Do you spend money every day to buy your lunch on work days? Do you have other daily expenses that aren't absolutely essential? Try giving up one or two of those non-essential purchases for just one day each week and then put the money you would have spent into your savings account. You can even get the whole family involved by choosing something together that you will all forego as a family once a week, in order to sock away a bit more.
Saving money in a tough economy definitely has its challenges, but by making it a habit to put away small amounts, the trickles of cash become a stream, and that stream can become a river. You will find your savings numbers climbing, and you will have more peace of mind knowing that you have funds available for life's little surprises.
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