Tips To Help You Start Saving NOW

Without even knowing you, let me see if I can describe the situation you're in. You're starting off 2007 with great intentions. You want to save for retirement, or for college, or maybe you'd just feel a whole lot safer knowing that you have a bit of a financial cushion, in case of some unexpected emergency or job loss. Despite these good intentions, you're not saving as much as you'd like. Or maybe you're not saving anything at all.

It seems too hard, you tell yourself impossible even. The whole idea of spare" cash doesn't fit in your vocabulary because your money is spent before you cash your check.

If this is you, take heart. You're not alone. When we asked people about their savings habits, most of them told us they find it difficult and don't do as good a job as they would like to do.

So how do you break the cycle of never having enough money to set aside? Or maybe a better question is can you break the cycle?

I strongly believe you can. And I don't think it has to be difficult. Regardless of your income or budget, most people " even you " can learn how to save more money.

The first and most important barrier to overcome is to stop thinking of saving as drudgery. Most people associate savings with some degree of pain. But there's a positive side to saving money (beyond the actual amount of cash you can set aside).

Simply put, saving money gives you more control and freedom over your life. You can't hang a price tag on how it feels to know that you're going to be okay when you retire, or that your kids will receive the education they need, or that you'll be able to weather a job layoff, or put new brakes on the car when they go, or replace a refrigerator when it leaves a big pool of water on your kitchen floor. Saving money, dare I say, could lower your stress and lead to a healthier and more peaceful life. It's potentially that powerful, and I think it's important to acknowledge and appreciate the emotional as well as financial benefits saving can bring you.

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