SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It might surprise you how many people aren’t saving money, but it’s also surprising how easy it is to sock money away and how quickly it can add up.
In recent years, politicians have touted America’s economic recovery, but that’s not the case for Kevin Ford, who is looking for work, or Jennifer Hensley, a school crossing guard with a 7-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.
Most middle-income Americans haven’t seen a significant pay raise in years and many are stretched to their just to pay the bills. They’re spending, but most aren’t saving.
“Wages haven’t really kept up with inflation,” said financial adviser Keith Springer. “We’re about where we were in the late ’90s. We’ve had no wage inflation, wage pressure and people are making about what they were making 15 to 20 years ago.”
A recent survey by Bankrate.com shows 63 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Hensley is one of those Americans.
Springer says the issue for most people is simple.
“People spend too much,” he said.
It’s really pretty simple. We’re spending more than we’re saving, and that’s easy to do. A middle-income American making $30,000 to $60,000 a year who hasn’t seen a real significant pay raise in years has seen their purchasing power drop. To make matters worse, the cost to rent an apartment in Sacramento went up 10 percent last year.
There are simple ways to help save money, and it can add up quickly. Cutting two out of five large $5 lattes a week would save $480 a year. Cutting back from two $50 meals a month to just one can cut another $600 a year.
Another trick involves putting away 10 percent of what you take out of the ATM. For example, if you take out $200 a month and put $20 away, you’ll have an additional $240 a year.
The combination of those three things could have you saving more than $13,000 over the course of 10 years.
Financial advisers also recommend common sense things like paying off credit cards and creating a budget and sticking to it.