Trying to Save? Ask Why?

As we approach the end of summer, it is time, for many families, to shift back to regular schedules and regular habits. We may think of summer as a break, and when summer is over we go “back to reality.”

If the end of summer has you thinking about launching positive habits, consider regular saving as a useful habit to establish (or re-establish). Saving money may feel difficult or impossible to many people, but for most Iowans it is possible.

One key to saving is to have a meaningful reason you want to save. Hint: if you’re trying to save just because I suggested it, it probably won’t work.

Ask yourself WHY you want to save money? How will your life be better when you save? There are no right or wrong answers – only answers that mean something to you. Some people save for a specific purchase (new tires, new furniture, a vacation, …). Some may save to reduce stress – having a financial cushion helps them sleep better at night and worry less. Some save for retirement, after seeing friends and family members struggle to get by on Social Security alone.

If you truly WANT to save, you will be more motivated, and less likely to give up when obstacles arise. So start by thinking about WHY you will save, and make sure it’s a reason that is important to you.

Tune in tomorrow for additional ideas on how to succeed with saving money!

Barb Wollan

Barb Wollan's goal as a Family Finance program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is to help people use their money according to THEIR priorities. She provides information and tools, and then encourages folks to focus on what they control: their own decisions about what to do with the money they have.

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