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Boost Your Savings

By Austin Pryor
Sound Mind Investing Boost Your Savings by Changing a Habit

I am going to point out something about your spending that you may never have thought of (and may not be able to get out of your mind once I put it there). Have you ever stopped to consider what the “future value” of the money you spent today could have amounted to?

That is, if you’d saved it rather than spent it, what would it be worth as you neared retirement, say in twenty years?

For example, let’s say you spend $7 each workday for lunch on the job. What if you decided to fast just once a week and save that $7 rather than spend it? You continue to do this once a week for twenty years. Invest it at 8 percent in your Roth IRA and it would grow to . . . (drum roll) . . . $17,294!

Surprised? I thought so.

Now, start applying that same logic to other adjustments you can make in your lifestyle. What if you could save $60 a month in gas and parking if you were to carpool or take the bus? You might be more inclined to endure the extra hassle when you realized you were going to have an extra $35,577 waiting for you down the road. And if you buy cigarettes at a pack-a-day rate, that’s a whopping $63,124 up in smoke. Well, you get the idea. Think about it.

Boost Your Savings by Eliminating Impulse Buying

You have to begin looking on impulse purchases as one of your most formidable foes in the battle to save more.

Impulse purchases usually violate the following rules for wise shopping: shopping around for the best buys, keeping tight control on the use of your credit card, buying only what you really need, buying what’s practical, and checking carefully for quality.

Larry Burkett often suggested maintaining an “impulse list” that works like this:

• Never buy anything unless you have budgeted for it. Instead, write it down on your impulse list.

• Get at least three prices for the same item from different sources.

• Wait at least ten days to buy it.

• Never have more than one item on your list.

Larry’s experience with this system: “I use this system, and with rare exceptions, I never buy anything on impulse. Do you know why? Because long before I have found two more prices on the first item, I find two more items I would rather have. A person could easily go broke saving money on good buys. The only way to conquer the impulse is self-discipline. Without discipline, no budget will help. ‘For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him’ (2 Peter 2:19b).”

Boost Your Savings by Surrendering to Automation

hen it comes to saving, it’s easy to rationalize putting it off until the next paycheck. So, it often helps to have some of your money put aside automatically before you have the opportunity to spend it. Here’s one way—use your local bank checking account for all salary and investment income deposits. Then, instruct your money fund organization to have a certain dollar amount (you decide how much) automatically transferred from your local bank to your money market mutual fund once or twice a month. Most funds typically accept transfers of $50 and up on either a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. It’s easy, convenient, and offers some useful discipline.

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