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Jumpstart your savings

Posted at 1:11 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 16:49:06-05

This is America Saves Week, an effort to get all of us to save more money for the future.

The campaign offers a savings assessment tool and many other tips and resources to help you jumpstart your savings.

Robin Thompson from Budget Wise Consulting says we need to change our way of thinking when it comes to saving money. So many people get paid, pay some bills, do so shopping, and if there’s anything left, they save it.

“So they’re paying themselves last instead of first and that’s not a formula for financial success,” Thompson says.

In order to pay yourself first, Thompson suggests setting up a regular automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account.

“A lot of times people don’t have that future vision of what they want, they just think I’m saving to be saving, so I’m really taking something away from myself,” Thompson says.

Visualizing your goal makes saving easier. America Saves Week is holding an "I'm Saving For" social media contest. Take a picture showing what you’re saving for and you may win $500.

The campaign’s tagline… Start Small… Think Big.

“So many people think I don’t have enough to save, but everyone has some small amount that they begin to put away. So don’t get caught up in how large it is, just recognize that the habit of saving is more important than the amount that you have to save.”

Thompson also suggests instead of blowing your whole tax refund, if you’re getting one, save a portion to help jumpstart your savings. And if you think retirement is so far away, you don’t need to worry about it yet, consider the fact we’re living longer than ever. 

“It’s so easy to outlive your money in your retirement, there are so many risks that are coming against you,” Thompson says.

So fund those retirement plans the best you can. Starting to save early is the key to enjoying your golden years, despite the fact you may think they’ll never get here.