When it comes to money, fear is not an option!

Advice by Regina Harris, Kentucky National Guard Joint Family Support Assistance Program, Military Family Life Consultant, Personal Financial Counselor

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Photo by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Fear drives people to action.

The loss of someone close often drives one to get life insurance.  A heart-attack of someone, even distant, causes one to assess their diet, exercise and lifestyle.

Often, it isn’t fear that drives action but just a good ‘ol healthy dose of self-preservation! There are plenty of examples of this drive to act. For example, a safety net under a trapeze artist, harness worn by a window washer, and reflective gear on a biker.

What kind of call to action will motivate you to save now for later?

How about the drive to be different, to aspire higher, to not be a slacker?

The average Personal Savings Rate of an American adult is 2.5% of disposable income per month, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We all must want to aspire, at least, a bit higher than 2.5% of savings per month. A family bringing home $2,000 per month less $1,600 for living leaves $400 disposable income. According to this current statistic, this family saves only $10 per month!

While I don’t love these ‘official’ statistics, the fact remains that we as Americans’ are by and large not saving enough. We are not saving enough to sustain our lifestyles. We are not saving enough to catch our emergencies or purchase our wanted items. This is evidenced by our over use of credit cards and other loans.

What can you do to beat the 2.5% personal savings rate?

Simply save more money!  Save for the usual reasons, emergency, college and retirement. Also, save for those very special, specific items that only you want to purchase.

The key is to save money from your current income to pay for future items and expenses.

Do the check. Are you already saving enough? Conventional wisdom says save 10 -20 percent of your income. Divide that pot of money for emergency savings, college savings, retirement savings and any other saving you need. When you find the motivation to save or to increase your savings, save for specific reasons. Be sure to know why and for what you are saving.Help at financial crisis

I could spend the remainder of this article listing suggestions for finding the money to save. I instead chose to spend this space encouraging you to just start.

Here’s the plan:

1. Determine where to store the money. (Hint: bank, credit union)

2. Decide how much money to store. (Hint: 10% -20% of disposable income)

3. Decide how the money will get to the storage facility. (Hint: automate it)

4. Forget about the money and where the storage facility is located. (Hint: not close to home or work)

Later when the pre-determined event happens or it is time to purchase that special item; your memory will be triggered. You miraculously remember that you have the cash to pay for the event or item and you know where the money is stored.  Ta Da! My job is done!

For year round help and encouragement, sign the Military Saves Pledge. When you sign the pledge check the box to receive the newsletter. Follow the suggestions, tips and advice that you receive from the newsletter to help you save more. Find the Savers Pledge at www.militarysaves.org

For more information email Regina at RHarris@MFLC.Zeiders.com or give her a call at 502-548-4836.

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