Symbols = Savings – The “Symbols” savings is a tool that helps you put a symbolic value or key to the amount you want to save. If you want to retire at age 65, set aside $65 each week into a different account. Another great example is to set a symbolic reference to the amount of money you save each week or month. A resident in Indiana started making weekly deposits equal to each of his children’s ages. Ever year they increase by only a dollar and when they are done weekly it is easier to live without it because you are so used to it. Putting a symbolic tool with your savings is a great way to remember the number as well as remember what you are doing it for.

Rewarding Yourself Doesn’t Always Mean a Materialist Reward – Did you just receive a large bonus that you worked so hard for, and now you want to treat yourself for your hard work?? Why does our rewards always seem to be those materialistic things we normally would never buy? Don’t buy the expensive shoes you want just because you have the money to. Ask yourself “Would I have bought those even if I didn’t get the bonus?” It is ok to treat yourself but make sure you are not buying something that is twice or three times the price you normally do, just because you got that raise.  You deserve a reward that keeps giving so why not put that bonus aside into an investment that will keep rewarding you. If you already have tried the CD savings tool, try investing that extra money into the stock market.  

If you’re someone who does not need to worry about saving your change for yourself or coming up with new ways to set aside money, a great way to think about the above savings tools could be that additional charitable contribution you give at year end. All the money you saved with the tips above could go into a bank account and whatever it has in it at year end can be sent to a charity of your choice.

Katie Rubalcaba, Associate Accountant
Davis & Hodgdon Associates, CPA’s
May 2012

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