Revisit your 2012 Resolutions……
It’s August and in four months it will be 2013. How are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions you made in January? This is a good time of the year to find out how much of your earning you saved this year.
An earlier blog emphasized saving some amount of earnings every week as an important measure of success. It is not how much money one makes but how much one saves.
Most people have heard of tithing. This is the practice of giving a percent, usually 10%, of gross income, to one’s religious organization. It could also be applied to supporting a charity. But it is also a standard for personal savings.
The recommended norm is to save at least 10% of gross income. Gross income is the income received before taxes and other deductions are taken out one’s salary. But saving something every week, even if only ten dollars, adds up quickly. At bill paying time consider paying yourself first.
It is the habit of saving that is important. It is possible to say it is part of a healthy life style. A savings account can take the stress out of life. There is something to fall back on if the unexpected occurs. Ideally one should have two savings accounts; one for long term goals like retirement, college education, a home; another for short term goals like vacations or holiday gifts.
The question of how to save is often the step that slows people down. It may even stop them. They have never been to a bank and have no idea of how to start. The easiest way to save is to have your employer make a savings deduction from your salary and deposit it in the bank of your choice even before you get your pay. You do have to open an account first. This is the “painless” approach to savings.
Another option is to have your full pay automatically deposited by your employer into a bank account and you have the bank automatically withdraw a set amount into a savings account each pay period. Either way you will see your savings grow. Either way you need to open a bank account first.
When we talk about retirement saving, participating in your employer’s 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan creates another savings. Tax savings. These retirement plans are paid with before tax dollars. This reduces your gross salary upon which required taxes are calculated. When these savings are paid as retirement income there is income tax due on the amount of retirement income received.
A second way to save for retirement is to open an annuity and deposit a set amount every month with after tax dollars. The retirement income received from a fixed annuity is tax free, except for the interest that has been earned on the money deposited.
So…….how much money HAVE you saved this year? What will be your answer next year?