No matter where you are in life, you most certainly can save more. If you don’t believe it, here are the stories of four different people. Each of these are real people who are each saving for a goal, along with some tips each have to offer about saving.
In your 20s
A young lady in her 20s is looking for a new house while saving to be in a number of wedding parties.
She suggests “faux shopping” to decide what you want in a new home and to get an idea of how much you’ll need to save for a down payment. Shoot for at least 10%.
Open a dedicated savings account for your new home. Arrange to have a certain amount of your paycheck automatically deposited in this account.
Get a copy of your credit report. The higher your score, the better interest rates you can qualify for. If you can get your rating over 740, you’ll be able to get the best rates possible.
In your 30s
A 30-something woman is looking forward to a trip to Disney World, while saving for both retirement and college tuition for her child.
Remember to take care of your own future and save for retirement first. Your kids can take out loans for their education if needed, you can’t fund your retirement the same way.
Open a 529 college savings account. Visit Savingforcollege.com for more information and to help you choose a plan. You can even encourage family members to put money in the account.
In your 40s
A couple in their 40s is trying to bolster their retirement after a 20-year career in the military.
Shore up your emergency fund, especially if you aren’t working.
Besides your military pension, you probably also have money in your thrift savings plan. If you haven’t already, you need to decide what you’re going to do with it. Your options are to leave it where it is or roll it over to an IRA. If you have a job that offers a 401(k), you can also roll that money into it.
For more information, take a look at Operation Money, a free ebook written specifically to help military families manage their money.
In your 50s
An individual in his 50s wants to boost his retirement savings $6,000 each year, with the option for pre-tax retirement increase.
First, break down the goal. An additional $6,000 per year becomes $500 per month.
Next, figure out how you’re going to work that into the budget. Will you be able to make it happen by foregoing some little luxuries, or will you need to do something more drastic, like downsize or get rid of an extra vehicle?
If you can’t find room in the budget to save what you need to, can you make up the difference by increasing your income? Perhaps a part-time job, some freelancing, or something else?
Still looking for more? Feel free to check out our comprehensive personal finance guide to learn more about managing your budget and staying financially healthy.