St. Patricks Day is coming up and many of us will be wearing green and playing up our Irish heritage, no matter if we are Irish or not. I'd like to turn your attention to a different green...yes, the color of money. Think about gathering as much of that green as you possibly can. In the end, unless you have a whole lot of the "luck 'o the Irish" you need to have a cushion for emergencies, not to mention to attain future goals and enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Here are five tips to help you gather some of that green:
- Set up a separate emergency fund account and have money automatically deducted from your paycheck into that account. Even if you can only afford $10 or $20 per pay, it's a start. Experts say that you should have enough to pay your bills for at least 6 months as a cushion.
- If you get a bonus or a raise, don't go out and splurge - put it in a savings account. You'll never miss the money that you aren't used to having.
- If you are getting a tax refund...save it or pay down debt with it. Again, don't splurge until you are in a good position financially. The splurge may feel good right now, but you may pay for it down the road.
- If you have an employer who is generous enough to match a portion of your retirement savings, deduct the maximum you can from your paycheck towards your retirement. The match is free money!
- Reward yourself for packing your lunch or NOT buying that latte. Every time you have the self-discipline to deny yourself something you might normally buy, transfer that amount of money to your savings. Chances are you can make the transfer right then and there on your cell phone with mobile banking.
For most of us, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We need to rely on ourselves to make sure we avoid financial difficulties throughout our lives. Start by saving now!