With the holiday shopping season just starting and prices of many consumer goods continuing to rise, saving money can seem impossible. But those financial pressures also make doing so even more important.
“Saving is your margin,” says Eric Maldonado, a certified financial planner and owner of Aquila Wealth Advisors. “When things happen — your car breaks down or there’s a layoff, or smaller stuff like gifts for the holidays — you have something to fall back on.” Maldonado notes that saving can also allow you to have money for fun things.
The personal savings rate for Americans has been dropping in the last few months, and as of July was 3.5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Maldonado recommends aiming for a savings rate closer to 20% of your take-home income. “You can live off of 80% and put 20% toward deferred gratification,” he suggests.
That guidance matches the popular 50/30/20 budget, which suggests putting 50% of your take-home income toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings and any debt payments. “If you’re just starting out, then it can be too daunting, but you can work toward it,” Maldonado adds.
In Kimberly Palmer’s latest for the Seattle Times, learn 7 saving strategies you may not have tried yet.
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