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FP Article 8

How To Start Saving Money

by Rajen Devadason

If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.

Benjamin Franklin 

  Most of us were taught the importance of saving money when we were young.

You probably remember your parents or a favourite aunt or uncle urging you to put coins into a piggy bank or a portion of your Christmas and birthday money into a bank savings account.

Sadly, for most of us those lessons were among the first to be left behind as we grew taller and, supposedly, smarter.

Why exactly that happens, no one knows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



If I had to guess, I'd say it's because, for the vast majority of us, the sudden economic pressures of adult life coupled with insidiously effective marketing messages caused us to forget those early, ever-so-valuable lessons.

This is an article on how to start saving money. I hope you enjoy reading it. But if it isn't what you're looking for, you're welcome to look for something that does meet your needs. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

Rajen Devadason

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The people who cave in to the dictates of extreme consumerism often never come to their senses until retirement looms near. By which time it's too late to salvage the situation.

But such tragedy doesn't have to be your fate.

Chances are good you stopped by here because you're curious to learn effective ways to start saving money seriously.

If so, let me not keep you waiting. Here are three strategies you can put to work immediately in your life:

1. Remind yourself that you matter at least as much as everybody else;

2. Understand the true power of compound interest; and

3. Unleash the power of goal-setting in this vital area of life.

 

1. Remind yourself that you matter at least as much as everybody else

The reason most of us never get serious about starting a savings programme is our deep-seated harbouring of a dangerously mixed up set of priorities. What most of us tell ourselves is: "I'll pay all my bills first, and then  see what's left at the end of the month to save."

Because our month lasts longer than our money, that particularly popular approach is a potent recipe for lifelong impoverishment.

If you work for your money - as most of us do - then surely you deserve to pay yourself first, or at the very least second depending upon your religious convictions?

By deciding to first set aside a chunk of change for yourself, you'll be sending a message out to the universe. One that's bold, simple and clear:

"I matter to myself. That's why I pay myself ahead of others. This puts me in control of my economic destiny."

 

2. Understand the true power of compound interest

Many books suggest we set aside 10% of our earnings. I happen to believe that real economic heavyweights should set much higher targets. In fact, in my own financial planning practice in Malaysia, I try to inspire my clients to gradually expand their skill set so they'll be able to earn more and more money. Simultaneously, I urge them to set a personal goal of reaching a 40% to 50% savings cum investment rate over the next ten or twelve years.

That may strike you as being rather extreme. And it certainly is by the standards of today's consumer-orientated society.

So, relax! What's more important than setting such high final savings targets is for you to decide TODAY to simply get started.

Given enough time, even small sums parked in low-yielding financial instruments can grow to surprising sizes. Here's an eye-opening example.

Did you know that if you'd been able to set aside 1 cent in a modest savings instrument that, say, only yielded 2% per annum at the time of Jesus Christ's birth in Bethlehem around 4 BC, you'd have more than $1,900 trillion today?

That amount of money would make you 40,000 times richer than Bill Gates - the richest person on the planet at the time of this writing.

Of course, you don't have 2,010 years or more to save, but you also are likely to have more than just 1 cent to set aside today as seed money, right?

So, make a start.

And while you're at it, don't forget the primary lesson we all absorbed in childhood: We should learn to crawl before we can walk before we can run. Learn to save before you try to invest or, scarier still, speculate.

 

3. Unleash the power of goal-setting in this vital area of life

If we don't get serious about establishing a personal wealth building plan, rest assured we will end up becoming pawns in someone else's personal plan to grow wealthy... at our expense.

Learn to set challenging and inspiring goals to help motivate yourself to begin your personal journey to financial freedom.

That start is nothing more sophisticated than determining within your heart that you have great value, and you're entitled to save money for yourself.

I suggest you begin your personal savings programme in something as safe and uncomplicated as a bank account or a money market fund.

Focus more on gently raising your personal savings rate than in reaching - or over-reaching - for yield.

If these three simple pointers have inspired you to begin a personal savings programme or to get far more serious about the one that you already have, then I'm delighted.

I wish you well in your personal quest for financial freedom.

If you'd like additional insights on this subject, you're welcome to read my article The Psychological Strengths of a Saver. (If you happen to be a Malaysian who is looking for professional help in the area of personal finance, I suggest you also check out the CFP Directory of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia. More specifically, if you're a Malaysian who is between 30 and 45, is very, very, very serious about this subject, and if you want to learn more about my consulting services, you may do so here.)
 

© Rajen Devadason

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Rajen Devadason, CEO RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd & RD Book Projects
349, Desa Rasah, Jalan Bayan 7, 70300 Seremban, NS, Malaysia
Tel/Fax: +606 632 8955

 
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