You Can Save No Matter What Your Circumstances
- 2004 26 Nov
There are a lot of rationalizations people use for not saving:
- I don't need to save money...I'm trusting God to supply all my needs. There is no question that your security rests in God alone, not in how much money you have in the bank. But as a steward - or manager - of God's resources, you are accountable to Him for the way you handle what has been entrusted to you.
- I'm not disciplined. Americans are not accustomed to thinking about saving. From the boom-time of war years and into easy credit, saving has not been part of our national character. We neither learn to care for what we have, make it last, nor put money away for tomorrow. Discipline is hard, but can be developed.
- I don't have enough money to make an investment. While you do need a certain amount to open an investment account, you never will
From Money and Me by Cynthia G. Yates, (c) 1999. Used by permission of Vine Books, an imprint of Servant Publications, P.O. Box 8617, Ann Arbor, MI, 48107, 1-800-458-8505.
have the money unless you start saving something. You have to start. Put some money into a savings account each month and let it earn interest while you add to it. Once you have a "minimum" amount for an investment, invest that and start saving again.
- I can't afford to save. There may not be an ideal time to save money, but when you put your mind to it and your goals in it, you can save money. It's a matter of priorities. If you haven't begun to save, start now, no matter what your age. Let your money work for you. [That's why investment experts recommend young people begin saving for their retirement no later than age 25.]
Find money. How to increase the amount of money you can save:
- Use things up. Find extra money every other week by skipping grocery shopping and using food on hand. Cook the oatmeal, defrost the hamburger, brown-bag your lunch, and cook from scratch. Put the money saved into your savings account.
- Raise your deductible.Talk with your insurance agents about raising your deductibles on home and auto insurance. Consider a $1,000 deductible on homeowners - since it is primarily there for catastrophe. When considering raising deductibles, evaluate the actual savings against your risk.
- Get the best deal. Shop for the best insurance premium for the coverage you want. Look into your home and auto insurance, home mortgage, long-distance carrier, car loans, and any other regular expense where there is competition for your money.
- Say No to impulse-buying for a week, then a month.
- Sell your stuff. If you are not using something (skis, a freezer, a sewing machine) sell it.
- Be careful of credit. Use only no-fee credit cards. Pay off your monthly debt on your credit cards.
- Refinance your home if you plan on staying there for a while to offset the new closing costs.
- Shop around for banks that don't charge you for transaction fees or checks.
- Become energy efficient. Turn down your water heater 20 degrees, wash clothes in cold water, alter your thermostat by two degrees (higher in the summer, lower in the winter).
Cynthia Yates was named one of the top 10 "Frugal People" in America by Family Circle magazine. She hosts a weekly radio program in St. Louis, and is the author of 1001 Bright Ideas to Stretch Your Dollars and The Complete Guide to Creative Gift-Giving.
Originally posted on Crosswalk.com's Live It Channel, bringing you today's best advice from Christian books.