|Interview: Sharon Epperson
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When you asked me earlier why people think it's so
tough to save, and I replied that I didn't see it
as difficult, it's because I started saving early.
Since I began before I got married, I was already
in the habit. If you don't see it, you don't spend
it. If it did make it to my account I would get a
manicure, a spa day or buy things for my friends.
I don't see saving for retirement as garnishing my
wages. We live in that mode. The earlier you start,
the easier it will be to become disciplined. But the
caveat is, it's never too late to start. Take small
steps. Realize that even if I save this amount which
is less than a million dollars, maybe I can at least
transition into a job where I can work less hours.
Staying on track
absolutely loved the un-budget -- the
60/40 rule -- you described earlier
and in your book. Is that what you follow?
try, I have to say I try. I wrote this so people will
have a guideline as things come up. You can't always
do the right thing all the time, so when you have
to backpedal a little bit, realize that you're doing
it and get back on track.
You're not alone
What was the most helpful thing to you personally
that you discovered in the course of your research?
of the most helpful things, and it's kind of sad,
is to know that a lot of us are in the same boat.
To know that we're not alone in feeling stressed out
financially, and that we need someone to help guide
us through handling relationship issues as well as
discovering smart financial decisions. These are all
the steps I walk through in the book, really. It was
an eye-opener for me that there are a lot of couples
who are interested in living richly ever after but
need a plan. Once we put our goals and plan on paper,
it relieves any tension. Now when we realize the goals
and find ourselves backpedaling, we know where to
go back to in order to reach the objectives we set
Strategies for success
Do you have any parting words of wisdom for someone setting out to build an emergency fund?
like you do with your 401(k), you can
set your emergency fund on autopilot and have money
direct deposited. Limit the amount of credit cards
that you have. I say never have more than two. I like
amassing points and feeling like I'm getting something
for free, but unless you can pay it off every month,
getting rid of the cards and putting money into an
emergency fund is more rewarding.
I think a lot of people need to involve
the entire family in the emergency fund. If an older
child has a part-time job, have them contribute or
set up a fund for themselves. If you have kids who
are getting an allowance, teach them to save from
it. Talk about money. Your financial habits will go
a long way in getting them to do the same.