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Do you have any suggestions on how to save money?

While some people are worried about what the stock market is doing to their savings, others are worried because they aren't saving at all. To get started saving, "think small". Those 2 sodas a day you drink at $1 each could save you $520 a year. If that doesn't sound like much to you, consider depositing $520 in an account that averages 6% interest over time, you'd end up with nearly $21,300 in 30 years after taxes.

Don't buy sodas each day? Then set aside your pocket change daily, even if it's only 50 cents. That's $180 a year, and nearly $7,400 after it has earned interest for 30 years. Every day is a great day to start the savings habit.

Few people get rich from their savings alone. But by taking advantage of the "miracle" of compound interest almost anyone can reach long-term financial goals. Some key strategies are: 1) Pay off high-cost debt. The best investment you can make is to pay off any consumer debt with double-digit interest. 2) Buy a home and pay off the mortgage before you retire. For most middle income families, their home is their largest asset. Once the mortgage is paid off, your housing expenses are lower, you have an asset to borrow from in case of emergencies and one that can be converted to cash through the sale of the home.


Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension












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Last update: Tuesday, July 15, 2008




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