Having a savings plan can be important for those who want to retire, buy a house or just have extra money available in case of an emergency.
According to Susan Wilinski, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist, starting a savings plan is essential for unplanned events.
â€œThings happen, sometimes good and sometimes bad,â€ Wilinski said. â€œIf you have money saved, you will be able to afford a spontaneous trip with friends to San Diego or a trip home to attend grandmaâ€™s funeral.â€
For Edwin Robinson, 56th FSS A&FRC community readiness specialist, thereâ€™s never a better time to start saving than now.
â€œThe longer you wait, the more money youâ€™ll need to save to meet your goal,â€ Robinson said. â€œBy the time todayâ€™s newborns are set to enroll in college, four years at a public university will cost more than $200,000. While getting an early start is key, itâ€™s never too late to begin saving for those you care about.â€
While saving up for a loved oneâ€™s education is essential, thinking about retirement can be the last thing on a young personâ€™s mind, according to Wilinski. However, saving money for retirement is a must, even when youâ€™re young.
â€œWe will be responsible for a greater chunk of our retirement income,â€ Wilinski said. â€œOur grandparents either relied or rely heavily on Social Security and pensions to finance their retirement. Today, we must depend on our own personal investments.â€
Although thinking about retirement and childrenâ€™s college funds may seem years away, Wilinski said the best part about starting earlier in life is that your money will have more time to grow. Simply put, TIME+MONEY=compound interest.
â€œA 21-year-old who starts saving $100 per month ends up with the same amount at retirement as a 30-year-old who saves $550 per month or a 50-year-old who saves $1,650 per month,â€ Wilinski said.
Robinson said he recommends making small changes in the beginning.
â€œExcept for a home or a good low-cost vehicle, avoid using credit for purchases,â€ Robinson said. â€œPay down debt quickly and start saving the money you would normally pay to debt. Credit is a downfall which can cost you 50 times more money with calculated interest and late fees.â€
Cory Carmichael, 56th FSS A&FRC community readiness specialist, advises people to start saving by creating an allotment or automatic transfer to a separate account.
â€œAllotment or automatic transfers to a separate account make it easy to save â€” out of sight, out of mind,â€ Carmichael said. â€œStart small and think big. One doesnâ€™t need to sacrifice a lot and even modest, regular deposits can make a big difference. Just like any other habit, good or bad, it gets easier with time.â€