Seven strategies to save for goals

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are you doing your best to save for your future? It can be very challenging to begin a savings program. After necessities such as food, clothing and housing, there can be little left to put aside for future goals.

For that reason, State Farm has taken a look at various ways to get a person’s savings plan on track. We’ve come up with seven strategies that you can use today.

1. Don’t splurge with your tax refund. Instead of spending your refund, use it wisely by paying down debt, funding an individual retirement account, or saving it for future financial goals.

2. Take full advantage of your employer’s retirement contributions. Your employer may match a percentage of the contributions you make to your retirement savings plan. It’s a good idea to do what it takes to get the matching limit. It’s free money that can help your bottom line during retirement.

3. Start small and stay steady. You should begin as early as possible to get the most out of your savings plan.

4. Pay yourself first. Think of your savings or investments as a bill you must pay on a regular basis, much the same as a car or mortgage payment. Be disciplined and make the payments according to a set schedule.

5. Create separate pots of savings for upcoming life stages. Retirement may be an important goal for which to begin saving, but other goals or events need as much or more preparation.

6. If you have children, find the right education plan.

You have a number of choices when it comes to saving for a child’s education. Finding the one that makes sense for your situation takes planning and information.

7. Work with someone you know and trust. Everyone’s needs and goals are unique. You should work with a professional who not only knows about various plans and strategies, but knows you and will stay with you through the long haul.

Most people feel the best guidance they receive comes from a financial professional they know and trust.

Anthony Berryman is a local State Farm insurance agent. He can be reached at