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Savings Guide 2006

Start saving

  Sage advice on starting and maintaining a savings strategy.
Top 5 strategies for a lifetime of savings

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Good things come to those who wait.

No matter which cliche you use, the message is clear: Achieving major goals takes time. That's true whether you're building a city -- or your savings. Over the course of your lifetime, you'll earn hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars. To make sure that more of that ends up in your pocket, follow these tips from financial experts:

Lifetime savings
Saving money over an extended period of time is one of the most effective ways to build wealth.
Apply these five strategies to maximize that effectiveness.
5 top tips for a lifetime of savings
1. Be consistent.
2. Watch discretionary spending.
3. Set goals.
4. Avoid taxing situations.
5. Don't go it alone.

1. Be consistent.

  • Save automatically. Use an automatic payroll deduction to put money in your savings account. If you don't have your hands on it in the first place, you're likely to adapt your budget accordingly. Taking steps to make savings automatic will make a difference. "Anything you can do so that you don't have to physically write a check out each month will help," says Geordie Crossan, president and CEO of NBS Financial Services. "Having the money put in your savings account automatically is much easier than trying to rationalize writing a check each month."
  • Give yourself a raise. That annual pay raise should mean an annual bump for your savings, too. Take at least a small portion of each salary increase to boost the amount of saving you do with each paycheck.
  • Don't get frustrated. If your car needs a major repair or your furnace breaks in the middle of winter, you may have to use some of the money you've been diligently saving for other goals, but you shouldn't let that deter you, says Frank Congemi, a Registered Financial Gerontologist. "If you're saving and problems pop up, you might have setbacks," he says. "But it's better to have a setback while you're doing something, as opposed to having a setback while you're doing nothing."
-- Posted: Oct. 1, 2006
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