What to do When You Get a Late Start on Saving

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It's never too late to start saving, but those who began early definitely have the advantage. If you haven't started saving yet then get on it! Right now. Like right, right now. Hop onto your banking website and open a savings account. Transfer some money. Any small amount you can spare to get started will work.

Putting money into savings is never a losing game. You are taking a little bit from your present self to give it back times 10 to your future self. Treat it like a bill and pay into your savings every month.

Don't know how much you can save? Create a budget and work it out. No one else is going to save money for you; you have to take the lead.

Afraid to get started? Let the fear motivate, not debilitate, you. Saving is a numbers game — how much do you want to have and by when? Would you like to travel next year? Are you saving up a down payment for a house? Think about your goals and work backwards.

Price a few vacations, homes, new cars, whatever you want. Figure out how soon you'd like to make a purchase. Divide the amount by the months remaining. Can you spare that much? If you don't have enough dollars, then you'll need more time.

Then there's retirement: If you have not begun to save for retirement, NOW IS THE TIME. Use the handy calculator on the AARP site to see where you stand. If you need to make adjustments, make them. Time waits for no one. You will be old one day, probably much sooner than you think. No matter what your age, you must start to save for retirement. YOU MUST. Do not rely on inheritances (ha!), lottery winnings (LOL), or suing the person who made your coffee too hot.

Start now and you'll thank yourself later. When you put off saving for retirement, you rob your money of time to earn. Please, please don't force your future self to eat dry cat food. You deserve at least canned.