Five Steps to Start Saving Money

Adam Rust

The research says that you should do these things:

Set goals - the more specific, the better. Don't say "I want to save $1,500. Say to yourself, I want to have enough for a downpayment on my next car," or "I will save $25 each month to set aside for car maintenance."

Give yourself credit for your work: Find ways to make yourself feel good about your status as a saver.

Make it hard to spend your savings: it's a great idea to open a savings account.

Avoid spending money on the wrong things: it's not just "don't get a fancy latte. Let's start by eliminating bank fees.

Make progress: It's important to keep moving in the right direction. Hold yourself accountable to save money every pay period. Even if you only save $1, you've prevented yourself from raiding your savings and taking a step backwards.

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Adam Rust has worked to defend consumers against harmful financial practices since 2005. He has written extensively about overdraft fees, payday lending, student loans, prepaid debit cards, and subprime mortgage lending. He serves on the Board of the US Faster Payments Council. He is Director of Research at Reinvestment Partners in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of BankTalk. See more on his LinkedIn profile.