Financial advisor Suze Orman is worried about Americans’ finances. A recent SecureSave survey found that 63% of workers today don’t have enough money to cover an unplanned $500 bill. That means most workers are at risk of landing in credit card debt the next time an emergency expense arises.
That’s why Orman co-founded SecureSave, a company that partners with employers to help workers set up emergency savings accounts. She feels that it’s so important for people to have personal savings to fall back on.
But let’s face it — saving money is hard. Many of us have a lot of unavoidable expenses to deal with. And while it can be argued that higher earners should have an easier time saving, the aforementioned survey found that 35% of workers who earn over $100,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck.
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If you’ve struggled to save money, you’re certainly not alone. But without an emergency fund, you’re putting yourself at risk of wrecking your finances the next time an unplanned expense strikes. So if you’re eager to avoid that scenario, you may want to take this helpful advice from Orman.
Put the savings process on autopilot
Orman may be wealthy today, but that wasn’t always the case. There was a point in her life when she was cash-strapped and couldn’t even afford rent.
As such, Orman recognizes that building savings can be very difficult. And so her advice is meant to simplify the process as much as possible.
In a nutshell, Orman thinks the best way to save money is to put the process on autopilot. If you arrange for a portion of each paycheck to land in your savings account, you won’t have to think about saving money. And you’ll also be less likely to reach the end of the month without any money to spare.
Of course, the amount of money you’re able to move to your savings automatically on a monthly basis might start off small. And Orman says that’s okay.
“You have to start somewhere,” she explains. If, for you, that means setting up an automatic transfer of $25 a month, so be it. After a year, if all goes well, you’ll have $300. That’s far better than having $0, Orman insists.
Make your own life easier
Every dollar you spend on expenses is a dollar you won’t be saving. But you really don’t need the stress of having to nit-pick every single purchase you make for fear that it will impede your savings goals.
Let’s say you’re hoping to save $100 a month. You may be tempted to order takeout one night. But wait — will that $25 order keep you from meeting your goal? It’s hard to know. But you also don’t need that constant stress.
If you automate your savings, that $100 will leave your checking account before you get a chance to spend it. And from there, you won’t have to worry about how you’re spending your remaining funds because your savings goal has already been met.
Orman is a hard-working person who has never taken the easy way out. But in the context of savings, she’s a huge proponent of making things as easy as possible.
“The best way to save is to automate it,” she says. And once you get used to having that money land in your savings account, chances are, you won’t even miss it.
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