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Saving is difficult – no matter what you earn

Carol Perry

You hear all the time about how low the U.S. savings rate is these days. One tends to think this is a problem for the lower-income folks, but is it? I did a little digging and found out something interesting – the people who earn a six-figure salary have the same problem.

Earning a six-figure salary doesn’t ensure that a person will save money, according to the HSBC Direct Consumer Survey. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed who earned between $200,000 and $249,000 annually said they had difficulty saving because they had to pay their bills, according to the online survey of 2,000 people.

Comparatively, 56 percent of consumers who earned less than 25,000 annually reported that they couldn’t save money because of their bills. Pretty close numbers I would say.

Another 10 percent in the $200,000 to $249,000 category also said they didn’t make enough money to save compared with 59 percent of those who earned less than $25,000.

I have a friend who would call the problems of the affluent “high-end whining,” but the affluent are just as likely as other to run into problems with saving.

Since the savings problem appears to be universal, the solution for everyone is to start small and reinforce good habits by regularly setting aside money for savings. It really is that simple. Consider you savings as a monthly bill that you have to pay and budget it in.

If you are finding this difficult because of a high debt load, start paying on those debts every month until they are paid off. If you think about it this way, paying off a credit card that has a 20 percent interest rate is like getting a 20 percent return on your money. Since consumer debt is no longer tax deductible, paying off those cards makes even more sense.

Let’s face it, no matter what you earn, saving can be difficult. Make sure that you have sat down and actually calculated how much you earn (after tax) and how much you spend.

The first problem to saving is not having anything to save, so make sure that you spend less that you make. Rocket science? Not really.

If you have any questions, Carol and her team can be contacted at 841-4277.

• Carol Perry, of Carol Perry and Associates, has been a resident of Northern Nevada since 1983.