Saving: The First Step to Financial Health

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Savings. Sadly enough, the word has become one of those phrases people throw out with no real care for what it means nor any real dedication to pursuing the idea. But for every person who wants to retire, that’s got to change.

Putting aside a portion of your income in savings is the cornerstone of the wealth building process. It’s the foundation on which we base emergency funds, purpose-specific savings (ex: saving for new furniture), retirement investments, etc. It’s the essential first step in any plan to build wealth on the long term, because without it none of the rest is possible. So how do you actually do it?

The key is to make savings a first priority, not the last priority. Most people plan to save whatever they don’t spend- and then they spend everything. Doesn’t sound like a plan that works, does it? So take a hard look at your priorities and consider flipping some of them on their head.

Savings should be the very top line in your budget- with one possible exception. Christians like myself ought to have Tithes as our top line: our first 10% should go to God. After that, and first for others, comes savings: you should, if at all possible, save at least 10% of your income. And make it something you won’t violate: savings get breached only to cover needs, not wants. Needs are basically: food & water, shelter, basic clothes, & transportation.

10% is a lot, you may be thinking. That’s true. You may also be wondering: should you save off of your net income or your gross? To that I’d say: You’re probably not doing it right now anyway. So quit nitpicking and save something at least. You’re in the best position to judge between those for yourself.

Thanks for reading,

-Taylor

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About Taylor Kothe

I'm a husband, accountant, and sometime blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma. My passion is for personal finance, especially as it relates to teaching everyday people how to handle their everyday incomes and expenses. If you've ever found yourself lost in a rising tide of strange financial terms and incomprehensible policies, you're far from alone. So let's put our heads together and see if we can de-mystify some of the financial challenges that we all face.

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