Military Saves Week: 5 Tips to Help You Start Putting Money Away

piggy bankToday marks the beginning of Military Saves Week, a seven-day initiative to remind and encourage military families, officers, and personnel to save money and "build wealth, not debt." From February 25 to March 2, Military Saves, a social marketing campaign, wants to persuade and motivate those in the armed forces community to put away a little each month and get aggressive about automatic savings plans. There's also an online pledge component, which commits one to saving money, reducing debt, and building wealth over time.

Sounds easy enough, right? Here are 5 tips for saving money every month.

  1. Start small. Putting away an extra $50 isn't nothing, you know. Look at expenditures and ask where you can cut maybe $25, $50, or $100 a month. Eating out? Premium cable? Buying groceries that aren't on the list? Every little bit helps.
  2. Think big. Set a large goal for saving, then map it out. If you want to put away $10,000 this year, view it as a monthly goal of $833 and work your way up. Looking at in baby steps is a lot easier than looking at it as a lump sum.
  3. Plan as if you're going to live forever, live as if you're not. It may sound contradictory, but it will save you money over the long run. Think -- would you really get leather interior on your new car if you were going to die next week? It's a morbid thought, but a money-saving one, too.
  4. Consistency. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while trying to save is to deviate from your plan. Stay the course -- don't stop putting away money one month so you can buy XYZ -- think of your savings plan as a non-negotiable.
  5. Re-establish good credit. If credit card debt has been an issue, prioritize a way that will enable you to start paying bills on time (see step one). After that, pay off negative credits first (payday loans, car title loan accounts, etc.), then consider getting a secured credit card.

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How do you save money each month?


Photo via images of money/Flickr

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