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Subject:  Re: newbie Date:  12/1/2004  3:59 PM
Author:  2gifts Number:  43377 of 88496

i've read articles that even a little per month is better than nothing. is that true? for example, if i put like a measly $50/mo each for me and my wife for the next 30yrs. can i really do much with that? i still have the thinking that "if you don't have much, why invest?" obviously, that's not my plan but if that were the scenario - could it still work?

I'm a big believer in starting a savings program. Just start. Pick any amount, no matter how small, and put that same amount away every interval whether that is weekly or monthly. What you're really doing at this point is setting up your own discipline to actually save some set amount every week or month, and you will find that once you have that discipline in place, adjusting your set number upward doesn't become that difficult.

Something that I have found works well, especially when you are starting out, is to pick some small number like $10 or $25 a month, and set that aside. Then increase that amount by $5 every month until it's too much, and back it down to the previous level. That will slowly get you up to a reasonable savings number for your own budget, income, and expenses. When you get raises whether it's from an annual raise on the job, changing jobs, or eliminating some regular expense [with us, it was things like diapers for the kids, and then daycare], then take that amount and add it to your regular savings. The logic is that if you're already living without that money, then you can continue to live without it by adding it to your savings.

I started us out by putting aside $25 a week [I got paid weekly in those days] that I put into savings, and over the years I have increased that amount by doing what I noted above. I did increase our budget somewhat along the way, but not to the same level as the dollars that were being added to the income, and most of that was to support having the twins and their expenses. But over the past 20 years, I've managed to increase from $25 a week to putting aside many multiples of that a week, not including my 401k contributions. And if you do it by adding things like raises as you get them, you won't even notice it a hit to your budget because that money was never in your budget.

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