Many of us have good intentions to start saving for the future, but life often gets in the way. We are too busy, we have other expenses that take priority, or we think we do not have enough left over each month to save. Whatever challenges we face, it is never too late to start saving for the future--even saving the most modest amount today can make a big difference in the future!
The University of Minnesota Extension offers many resources to get you started—from thinking about what your needs and wants are for the future to determining what you need to save to reach those goals.
Begin saving today
No matter how little you think your income is, it is possible to save! Taking small steps and setting small reachable goals is important. After all, it can be overwhelming to think about the future.
Coming up with your savings plan is an ongoing process. Setting small goals will help you move closer to creating a savings plan that is obtainable and aligned with what you value for your future. To learn how to set goals, understand the difference between needs and wants, and understand basics of saving, check out " at the U of M | Extension website.
Budgeting to create savings
Tracking your daily expenses and creating a financial balance sheet will provide you with a broader view of what you earn and spend over a given month. These resources will get you started:
Making a plan to reduce debt will eventually free up your budget and allow you to start saving. If you have credit card debt, pay more than the minimum balance each balance. Paying only the minimum balance will just go towards the interest rate. Try to pay as much as you can above the minimum balance and you will pay down your debt much faster.
Another option is to prioritize which to debt to pay off first. It’s important to pay secured debt first such as home mortgages or car loans, so you can avoid foreclosure or repossession. The University of Minnesota Extension has resources on credit and debt.
If you are in debt and need help, the Commerce Department offers guidance in selecting credit counseling services.
There are many roadblocks on the way to financial stability – some of them are avoidable and come with educating yourself to make the right decisions. Avoiding fraud and scams is the simplest and most basic thing you can do to protect your financial well-being. There are many con artists out there that are looking to part you from your money.
Remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If you suspect fraud or a scam, report it to the Commerce Department at 651-539-1600 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3602 (in Greater Minnesota) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find ways to save money
As you think about ways to save each month, it can pay to be a little be creative. Check out these resources as a way to start:
Insurance as asset protection
With appropriate coverage, insurance can protect your property and finances from accidents and unexpected illness. Your home is likely to be your biggest asset and the biggest line item in your budget to protect. Learn how to Protect Your Home. If you don’t assume that your landlord’s insurance will protect against loss. Don’t take the risk. Protect your personal property by getting a renters insurance policy.
Auto insurance can protect you from the financial costs of an accident or injury, provided you have the proper coverage. Be sure that you understand what your policy covers before you need to make a claim.