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Financial Literacy Month blog

We hope you enjoy reading some of our thoughts as we join you on the path to financial wellness and we encourage you to yours. If you would like to follow our path on a more micro-level, we will be using twitter to chronicle our days.

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Step 14: Expect the unexpected

Posted by Kim McGrigg on 4/14/2008

In addition to long-term savings, financial experts agree that consumers should aim to have three to six months living expenses saved for emergencies. I realize that is a lot of money, but I know first hand that a lack of savings can turn a minor financial setback into a major financial crisis.

Following are some simple ideas on how to boost your savings:

Pay yourself first. This just means that you need to make saving a priority.

Make it automatic. Having money automatically deducted from your checking account into a savings account helps to ensure that you meet your savings’ goal. Even better, if your employer has the capability to automatically deposit your paycheck, have some of the funds directed into a savings account.

Turn a hobby into income. Many people have untapped talents (unfortunately, I haven’t discovered mine yet). Whether you enjoy photography, painting, knitting, or metal work, consider possible ways to earn money by doing what you love best.

Downsize. If you’re like me, you have a garage, basement, and attic full of items they no longer want or need. Holding a garage sale or advertising some of your things online could result in a boost to your savings account.

Use gifts wisely. If you receive unexpected funds (like from a tax rebate), do not be tempted to spend them frivolously. Instead, put all “found” money into an interest-bearing savings account.

Finally, don’t forget about your commitment to pay down debt. Reducing your debt allows you the freedom to make smart future financial choices.
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