When thinking about saving for the future, the personal attributes that come to mind are self-discipline, determination and will-power. When you are young and with few responsibilities, the last thing you want to think about is retirement or “the future”. What is important is what’s happening now.
You believe you will have plenty time later. You look around and suddenly later is here and no plans are in place to look after yourself and your family. Have you spent any time lately thinking about your financial future? If you are 30 years old now and wish to retire when you are 60, do you know what your current income will be worth in 30 years time?
There is no need to belabor the point. The simple truth is, you are never too young to start saving for the future. Don’t leave it until you are too old. We have been warned repeatedly not to rely on social security or pensions ( even though we pay enough into them every month) and that was before the current economic meltdown.
Unless you are financially secure now and know you always will be, there really is only one strategy, start saving for the future now by developing a savings plan around your monthly budget. This is where the personal attributes mentioned earlier play their part.
Start by making a list of any income you receive on a monthly basis. Take absolutely everything into account such as salary, investment interest payments, child benefits, income from other jobs, anything you receive regularly every month.
Now make a list of all your outgoings. Every single thing you spend on a monthly basis such as telephone, internet, mobile phone charges and bills, utility bills, running your car or truck, alimony payments, child support payments. Again anything you know you have to pay every month.
Now subtract your outgoings from your income. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having more month than money, revisit the list of outgoings and determine where you can cut back. Decide what is absolutely necessary and what you can do without.
If the balance is positive and in your favor, what would you normally do with that money? Do this little exercise for a few months noting what you spend any excess on. See if you spot any trends.
If you are in the fortunate position to actually save, have the determination to make sure you will set aside the same amount every month. Don’t take any risks seek advice before deciding which savings plan is right for you. Seriously consider a savings plan where you cannot dip into it whenever you feel like it just in case you don’t have the will-power or self-discipline to leave it accumulating interest for you. Saving for the future is certainly not complex but it takes a tough mindset and the vision to know your financial independence will be much more secure.