Looking for painless ways to increase your savings? Here are tips from some financial experts: Christine Fahlund, senior financial planner...
Looking for painless ways to increase your savings? Here are tips from some financial experts:
Christine Fahlund, senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price:
The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow.
Enroll in your company’s 401(k) plan and/or sign up for a program in which money from your paycheck or bank account, often as little as $50 a month, is automatically deposited into a savings or investment account.
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If your employer matches contributions to your retirement plan, be sure to contribute at least enough to get the full match.
Contribute as high a percentage of your salary as you can, and increase it 2 percentage points a year.
Small amounts can add up. Take the pocket change you accumulate, or the money you save by brown-bagging it, and deposit it into your account.
Pay off debt as quickly as possible to avoid paying countless dollars in interest, and apply those dollars to your savings program.
Putting a bigger down payment on a car or home will give you smaller monthly payments and keep money in your pocket.
Dennis Gurtz, a principal of Gurtz, Yurachek and Associates with Ameriprise Financial:
If you keep your housing, transportation and education costs under control, you have a good chance of living within your income, which is the most “painless” way to save.
Also contribute to your deductible retirement plan — 401(k), 403(b) or TSP — at least to the maximum matched by your employer, but ideally more. This gets you the match and tax savings.
And don’t forget to ask whether discounts are available (coupons, AAA, AARP, etc.) or just negotiate.
Gregory Sullivan, president of Harris SBSB: Start with your work retirement program. Why? You don’t pay taxes on that money until you take it out.
In addition, most companies provide a “match,” typically between 3 and 6 percent of your pay. That’s free money in your pocket. If you don’t have a retirement plan at work, set up an IRA-type plan that takes deposits from your checking account.