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You CAN Save for the Future When You're Struggling to Make Ends Meet (Really!) Do you have a savings account for your family?

Posted by on May. 1, 2012 at 6:54 PM
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You CAN Save for the Future When You're Struggling to Make Ends Meet (Really!)

Posted by Jacqueline Burt on May 1, 2012 
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piggy bankIt's the financial equivalent of being stuck between a rock and a hard place: How can you build your family's savings when you're barely making ends meet as it is? Or when you're struggling to get out of debt?

Theoretically I should have two college funds going right now, one for each of my kids ... but I figure it's probably more important that they're fed and clothed in the meantime.

(The electric bill is a priority too, as I can't imagine doing homework by candlelight would do much for their academic future, either.)

If you're like me and getting your family's finances under control feels like an overwhelming, if not impossible, task -- take heart. And take one step at a time. 

Here are a few easy ways to get started ...

1. Get in the habit of tracking your household spending. Most of us think we know how much we spend every day/week/month ... but take a look at your bank and credit card statements and you might be surprised. For a real eye-opener, try jotting down every dollar you spend for a week (and what you spent it on). Unnecessary spending patterns will be super-obvious! Don't beat yourself up -- make small changes based on your observations and you'll be amazed at the difference.

2. Scout out secret savings. Pull out all those monthly bills -- Internet, phone, auto insurance -- and call that customer service number. You might not know this (I didn't until recently), but simply asking for a better rate can actually GET you a better rate. It's true! (Sneaky tip: If the service rep doesn't offer to extend any new customer deals or promotions, mention that you're thinking of switching to a different company. It really works!)

3. Update your 401(k) contribution rate. Again, if you're like me, you probably did the auto-enroll thing when you started working with your company. Problem is, your rate is probably too low to get the maximum match. Ask someone in HR to help you switch to the qualifying rate.

See, none of those tips are too terrifying, right?

Do you have a savings account for your family? Any advice to share?

by on May. 1, 2012 at 6:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Jessica on May. 1, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Yes, we have a savings account.

by Gold Member on May. 1, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Yes we do.  I have our bank take a set amount out of each paycheck and put it into savings for me.  I don't touch it so I'm not tempted to spend it elsewhere.

by Ashley on May. 1, 2012 at 8:58 PM

we do

by on May. 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I really need to start one.

by Yvonne on May. 2, 2012 at 7:37 AM

 Yes we have a savings account, not much in it.. but its there and the bank passes money from the checking to the savings every time we use it plus a monthly amount.

I have found a way to save a little here and there.  First I keep a budget and try to stay loyal to it.  Then I am always looking for ways to make a little extra money, this money I take out cash from the bank and put it away in a secret place, a place where I usually forget that it is there and when we are in dire need a light bulb turns on and "hey i have a couple of hundreds in..." lol.. ok  So aside from that I am always cutting cost, couponing, asking for discounts, using less electricity or gas, searching for cheaper ways to feed my family, etc..

It is extremely hard, but you can always put something away.. even if its just $5 or $10 each week.. hek even every month!... it will amount to something... better then nothing, right?

by Nikki on May. 2, 2012 at 7:49 AM

We need to start one

by Dawn on May. 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM
We have a savings account. We put most of our tax refund into our savings account each year.
by Gold Member on May. 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM

 I have a savings account that dh doesn't have access to unless I get to it for him. It's best that way lol.

by Lyn on May. 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Yes we do. We deposit a small amount every payday.

by New Member on May. 2, 2012 at 3:30 PM

We have one. Just started this year with income tax refund. going to start trying to put money from each pay day. its just so hard with only one income!

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