Are you saving enough money? Regardless of how much money you actually make, saving and investing is extremely important for your future financial success. Accumulating wealth can be a life-long process, but the earlier you start, the more you will have. Many people worry that they aren’t saving enough and that they won’t have enough for the future.
Listed below are a few things to think about when it comes to how much money you are actually saving. Everyone’s situation is different, so you can only do what you can. However, this list will help you start making better decisions.
You Aren’t Saving Enough Money if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Well, this should come as no surprise to you. If you are caught in the vicious cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck, then it’s highly likely that you aren’t saving enough money (if any at all). This cycle can seem never-ending, but the reality is that you have two ways to break free.
Make more money or cut back your spending. Doing either one of those can help give your savings a boost and get you on the track to saving for the future.
You Aren’t Saving Enough Money if you’re waiting until your income goes up to start saving.
If you’ve made the decision to start saving when you make more money, then you likely aren’t saving enough right now. Don’t wait until more money comes along before you start saving. Do you know how long it will be before you get a raise or income boost? If the answer is no, then why give yourself an unknown timeframe to start saving?
You Aren’t Saving Enough Money if you don’t contribute to a 401k or IRA.
If you are out of college and in the workforce, but not contributing to a 401k or IRA, then you aren’t saving enough. There’s no escaping this one. If your employer offers a retirement plan, start contributing to it immediately.
If your employer matches, at the very least contribute the match amount. If you are a contractor or self-employed, open an IRA from Charles Schwab or Fidelity and start contributing that way.
You Aren’t Saving Enough Money if you don’t have an emergency fund.
Based on your current financial situation, what would you do if you lost your job or lost your car? How would you afford your normal living expenses? If you don’t have anything saved for emergencies, then you aren’t saving enough.
Your emergency fund should cover 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses, in the case of job loss or other financial emergency. An emergency fund takes the pressure of paying for financial emergencies off your back because you already have money allocated for them.
You Aren’t Saving Enough Money if you don’t pay more than the minimum on your credit cards.
In fact, you are losing money if you don’t pay more than the minimum on your credit cards. This is due to the interest you are being charged for keeping your debt on the credit card. If you can’t afford to pay more than the minimum, then start cutting back in other areas. You are costing yourself more money as interest continues to accrue.
If any of the red flags listed above applies to you, then get yourself on a budget and start cutting back. The only way you can make a difference in your saving is by making more money and/or cutting back your expenses. Even small traction makes a difference over time.
Do you think you are saving enough money? What is stopping you from contributing to a 401k plan or saving for an emergency? Let’s get a discussion going! Post a comment below to share your thoughts and feedback.