Change Your Financial Mindset to Start Saving Money

Saving money often presents a problem. You know you need to start saving, but you can spare so little thanks to your debt, you figure why even bother.

Well, I'm going to let you in on a secret: every little bit counts. It's better to save one dollar than to save no dollars at all. And if that one dollar is what it takes to get the ball rolling on your fresh financial start, then it's worth a lot more than its paper value.

Most folks tell themselves saving would be easier if they just made a little more money. But chances are when you finally get that much-needed raise, you'll quickly find other uses - and excuses - for your cash. However, if you can set aside just a couple bucks each month starting now, you'll kickstart a habit that can last you a lifetime, no matter how much you get in your paychecks.

Start by figuring out how much you can set aside each month without seriously impacting your finances. Ideally, you would save at least 10% of your income, but let's not worry about that now. Can you save $50? $100? Maybe a little more?

Let's say you settle on $50 a month to start. If this seems impossible, take a look at where some of your money is going. Give up your twice a week venti mocha habit, for instance, and you're almost there. Or how about cutting out that gym membership? Maybe you can carpool with co-workers a couple times a week to save on gas, or pack your lunch most of the week instead of eating out or give up that soda habit (added bonus: cutting out the pop can also slim your waistline and lower your dentist bills!).

A budget is kind of like a puzzle, except there's no one right answer. Switch the pieces around until you find the right fit for you. If you find you can save more than $50 a month, by all means, go for it. And if you can't? Just keep chugging along, saving a dollar here and a dollar there.

Of course, there are many more aspects to a good savings plan - methods, budgets and interest, just to name a few. We'll talk about those in coming posts. But for now, all that matters is that you get moving. And if you get stuck along the way, know that there's free help available. Like our free one-on-one debt analysis - a no-obligation session with a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer. Or a free community workshop - we'll provide answers to your burning financial questions and enter you into a drawing for a free laptop. Getting started might be the hard part, but after that, it's all downhill.

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