Elaine A. Courtney, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator,
University of Florida Extension-Okaloosa County
Barbara O'Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management,
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
One of the most powerful ways to increase your financial security and grow wealth over time is to develop a "savings habit." Media reports and advertisements by financial firms provide lots of advice about how to become financially secure, but the simplest and most basic strategy is to "pay yourself first" and save a portion of your income on a regular basis. In other words, treat savings like an important "bill" that has to get paid.
It is more important today than ever that Americans adopt this simple idea. The U.S. savings rate is the lowest it has been since the Great Depression. In addition, household debt levels and foreclosure and bankruptcy filing rates are high and housing values have declined in many areas of the country. All of these factors support the need for savings. In other words, "saving for a rainy day" means starting to save now!
So, why should you save? There are many reasons for saving money:
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