The Power of One Dollar

Unless you’re at the very bottom of the barrel, chances are that you have a dollar to spare. You may not have many of them, but you have a crumpled up George Washington somewhere that you could live without if you had to. So, what does that have to do with savings? Everything.

It Starts with a Dollar

Increase the amount you normally save by $1/week. Anybody can do this. Whether you’re just starting to save and raising your savings by $1/week means raising your savings to $1/week or whether it represents a miniscule piece in your already impressive savings habits doesn’t matter. Grab one extra dollar and add it to your savings account this week, next week, and the week to come.

Even if you never do anything different, you’ll have an extra $52/year. Multiply that by however many years you have left until retirement and the amount could be staggering-assuming you don’t already have your retirement soiree booked. When you consider the power of compounded interest, it makes an even bigger difference, especially if you put the money into a long term savings vehicle such as an IRA or a CD.

More of the Same

Of course, you won’t want to stop there. Once you’ve acquired the habit of putting an extra dollar into savings every week-and experts say new habits only take three weeks to become established-ask yourself if you could afford still another dollar. Chances are, you can. Continue to add an extra dollar to your savings every three weeks or so until you can honestly say you can’t afford the extra dollar.

If you follow this plan through an entire year, you’ll be adding an extra $17/week to your savings by the end of the year. Even with a modest 1% APY, that gives you nearly $20,000 extra after 20 years.

Getting Started

Regardless of how you choose to save money, the most important thing-and the most difficult-is getting started. Choosing a relatively pain free method of increasing your savings, like adding $1/week to the amount you save, may not handle all of your savings needs, but it can help get you going in the right direction without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. What other painless ways can you think of to help boost your savings?

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