You've heard Americans are not the best savers, so remember some of the advice from today's show:
- Create a savings account where it deducts money automatically from your paycheck or checking account. This automatic transfer, as UCLA professor Suzanne Shu points out, makes it easier to save. Every month or every two weeks, you are saving money without having to take out your wallet or write a check.
- Find a way to make your savings have a short term benefit. What does that mean? Professor Shu says a lot of times, it is hard to save for the future because you can't imagine your future self. So what if, you saved for the future, but also gave yourself a little reward for the present? Imagine putting $50 dollars aside each month in one account. And maybe $10 in another. At the end of six months, you can take yourself to dinner or buy something special with the money in the $10 account. Just give yourself a little fun TODAY as you save for the future.
- Treat your nest egg with respect, especially your retirement accounts. Personal Finance expert Liz Weston says don't use money from your retirement account — if you can avoid it. Think hard about what that might mean for your financial future. It should be your last resort to tap into a retirement account.
- Research online banks for a better savings rate. No one is happy with the amount of interest attached to accounts these days. But Liz Weston says, you can shop around. Some online banks offer more favorable interest rates. You won't be raking in the dough, but you might get a little more money from your savings.
- Earn more. Sometimes it has to come down to switching jobs to earn more income. Liz Weston says, if you are having a hard time savings (because your income is being stretched with expenses and bills), you should think about ways you can make more money. That means switching jobs or picking up part time work, if that's possible.