3 Savings Tips for Young Professionals

Whether you’re a recent college graduate in your first career job or you have been working for several years, a lot of people are finding it difficult to save for the future. Real-world inflation is making it difficult at the gas pump and grocery store, but less-than-stellar money skills can be the main culprit in saving for the future. Most of us do not learn money skills in school or from family, so we are left to figure it out on our own through trial and error.

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Ideally, you would start with a detailed budget using an app, such as Mint.com. There are a lot of great ones (check out this LINK from NerdWallet). Setting up and mastering a budget system takes time, but it is worth the effort in accelerating your goal to financial freedom…that point in time when you are working because you want to rather than have to.

When starting your budget system, follow these tips to jump-start your financial success:

  1. Pay yourself first, automatically. If your budget plan is to save what’s left over at the end of the month, you are doomed to join the 97% of our population that never achieves financial freedom (and most retire nearly broke and living primarily on Social Security). Instead, set up an auto-draft from your checking account directly into a savings/investment account to coincide with your paycheck deposits. This may be more than once per month.
  2. Save 15% to 25% of your gross pay. Yep, these are large percentages, but this is what it takes to achieve financial freedom while you are still young enough to enjoy your money. Remember, some savings will go into an emergency reserve account and should equal 3 to 6 months of monthly expenses. Some should go into your long-term retirement account, and you will want to have some savings for targeted shorter-term goals (i.e. a down payment for a home, etc.).
  3. Embrace time as your greatest ally. I started saving 20% as soon as I got my first post-college job. In the beginning, it looked like such a small amount that it was hard to imagine that it would ever make a difference. After a few months, I was surprised at how it began to add up and I was encouraged to both continue saving and save more. Before long I had enough to buy my first property; then another and then another…and after a few years I saw a significant boost in my net worth. Time and money saved are your greatest allies.

It may feel like you have all the time in the world to set money aside, but it is vitally important to start planning and saving NOW. The sooner you can start setting aside money for retirement, savings, etc., the better for your financial independence. If you have any questions on how to get started, be sure to consult with a Certified Financial Planner.



Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP®, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States.  He is the author or co-author of six books, including 50 Rules of SuccessJ.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaireand 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget. For more information, visit The Welch GroupConsult your financial advisor before acting on comments in this article.


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