Every little bit counts | HubCitySPOKES

Even though gasoline prices have come down a bit, the pressure on our wallets seems unrelenting. According to the August 2022 report of the Consumer Price Index, the cost of food remains 11% higher than last year, that of energy 24% and that of other household items 8%. %. When it seems like there are so many forces fighting against our finances, how do we start thinking about saving what’s left?

There are no simple answers. Financial advisors, however, will recommend that families start with a budget. Sometimes just looking at where our money is going in black and white can help pinpoint some places to save.

You may also want to set goals for yourself – and write them down. Then work backwards. Maybe you’re looking to buy your first home, save for a child’s college education, or save money for retirement. How much will you need to achieve these goals? Divide that by the number of months until you need the money and you’ll get a baseline for what you need to contribute regularly.

And don’t forget small goals this way too! A recent Yahoo! The Finance article uses this example: “You may have a short-term goal of a Cancun vacation that you want to take next year. Since the average cost for a couple is just over $2,000 for a week’s vacation, you can set a goal of saving $167 a month for a year to afford it.

Of course, if you don’t have a clear goal in mind, you can try what SmartAsset.com calls the 50/30/20 plan. Here you use 50% of your net pay for your needs (i.e. food, fuel, etc.), 30% for your wants (i.e. Netflix, dining out, etc.) ) and the remaining 20% ​​for your savings or debt repayment. .

The next question becomes: Where do I put the money I save? For small savings (like vacationing in Cancun), a savings account works great. For bigger savings, however, other accounts might give you a head start.

While 401(k) accounts and investment accounts are great tools to help you save faster for retirement or even a new home, I want to talk to you specifically about College Savings 529 accounts. managed by your State Treasury. They allow families to prepay for their education or earn interest on their savings. These accounts have helped thousands of Mississippians reduce or avoid student loan debt altogether. To learn more, visit Treasury.MS.gov/CollegeSavings.

Another thing: When you sign up for a college savings plan, we can make sure your monthly contributions are automatic, which means you can set it and forget it. Yahoo! Finance explains the benefits of automated savings as follows: “You will never have to log into your bank account to transfer money to savings and you will adjust to the amount of money available in your check during as your savings account grows”.

Every little bit can add up when you’re saving for your future. For more savings tools, visit Treasury.MS.gov.

Mississippi Treasurer David McRae is the 55th Mississippi State Treasurer. In this role, he helps manage the state’s cash flow, oversees College Savings Mississippi, and has returned more than $60 million in unclaimed money to Mississippians. For more information, visit Treasury.MS.gov.

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