Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 41 By Sheryl Nance-Nash F ew would argue about the need to save, be it for emergen- cies, retirement, a house, your child's college education, or a bucket list vacation. But know- ing and doing are two different things. e choice is yours to make every day— save or spend? Mostly people say yes to spending. A recent Bankrate.com survey found that 66 million Americans have no emergen- cy savings. e stats are just as gloomy when it comes to long-term savings. According to a survey from GOBanking Rates.com, one in three Americans has nothing saved for retirement, and 56 per- cent have less than $10,000 saved. e $64 million question: How do you boost your savings? e answer: You need a strategy. 1 Track expenses and free up cash "If you don't know how much you spend each month on the necessities, you can't plan accordingly," says Andrea THINKSTOCKPHOTOS The Savings Challenge DW Life > Money Matters Woroch, a consumer saving expert. "Track your spending for one to three months [use an app like Mint for help] to deter- mine how much money goes toward es- sentials like mortgage or rent, insurance, food, transportation, and utilities." You'll also be able to see where money is being spent on nonessentials, such as dinners out, concerts, and elsewhere. You can cut out, or reduce, spending in those areas and save that money instead. Look for ways to slash even everyday expenses. "Carpool or take public trans- portation to cut down on fuel costs," Woroch suggests. "Prep meals on week- ends and freeze them so you don't order takeout during the week. Budget hack— reduce your fixed expenses by calling providers and requesting discounts or reduced payments on things like car in- surance, mobile plans, and cable TV." 2 Set goals It will be easier to stay motivated if you are clear about what you're saving for. Be specific. You want to save a certain amount for a particular reason by a certain date. For example, you want to build an emergency fund of at least three to six months of living expenses within two years, or whatever goal you set. 3 Start small Saving doesn't have to be daunting. "Take baby steps—a little can go a long way over time," says uong ien, a senior financial advisor with Hewins Financial. "If you can set aside even 5 to 10 percent of each paycheck, you are not likely to notice a difference in your take- home pay, but you will have that cushion when an unexpected cost comes along." Increase the amount when you can. What's important is to get in the habit of saving. 4 Treat your emergency fund as a bill When you're saving for an emer- gency fund, the goal may be hard to stick to without looming due dates, interest rates, or late fees forcing you to pay up. Saving money is hard. Here are 10 strategies for building your savings.

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