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Set Finanical Goals and Start Saving

We all have financial goals in life and whether or not we achieve them is mainly up to us taking the initiative and having the discipline to make meeting those goals possible. Setting and achieving your financial goals is important in life whether you're saving for a down payment to buy a home, saving for a child's college education fund or any other goal. The best time to start was twenty years ago, the second best time is today.

Set Finanical Goals and Start SavingIf you haven't set one up already, starting a financial plan that includes a rainy day fund or emergency savings is probably the best first step to take. That way your goals won't be delayed by any unforeseen expenses. Unfortunately, savings rates are very low these days. The best savings rates at banks and credit unions are around 1.00 percent.

You can start saving now and save for more than one goal at a time. Retirement should be among the highest priorities, even higher than saving for a child's college education. You and your child and borrow money to pay for college but you can't borrow money for retirement.

Setting good savings habits for yourself and teaching your children about saving money will better equip them for the future. Studies show that by modeling good practices for building your savings now, your children are more likely to save for their own financial future.

When you start your savings plan, don't start out with one that is too stringent or you risk setting yourself up for failure. The most important point is to start saving so it becomes a habit and second nature to you. America Saves Week (February 19-25) is coming so why not start a month earlier? America Saves Week is a national campaign to encourage Americans to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.

One of the best ways to save is setting up a direct deposit account and having a percentage of your paycheck transferred into this account automatically. You probably already have direct deposit set up with a checking account and are having 100 percent of your paycheck deposited into this account.

Set up a second account (a savings or money market account is probably best) and place 1 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent or any percentage of your check into this account. Remember the most important thing to is to set up an amount that won't put too much hardship on you and your family. One good piece of advice is to begin with a small percentage (say 5%) and increase it one percent per month until you reach your goal.  If you would like to save 10% per month, starting with 5 percent and gradually increasing it one percent per month can be less abrupt and will help ease you into a savings plan that will work for the long term.
Author: Brian McKay
January 11th, 2013