MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Helpful tips to start saving money - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Helpful tips to start saving money

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

More than a third of Americans don't have a plan when it comes to saving money, according to an internet survey.

When it comes to saving money, next month...or maybe the month after that...may seem like a better time to start. But financial advisors will tell you, why not kick off 2014 with a little more money in the bank?

Here's one easy way. Save one dollar the first week, two dollars the second week... and by the time you hit 52 weeks, you're at almost $1,400.

"If you're not a saver, this is a great, gimmicky way to remember to save," said financial advisor Steve Overton.

Gimmicks aside... How much should you be saving? 

"Half a week's pay per month is a great place to start," said Overton. "If you're making $500 a week, and you can save $250 a month, that's a great way to save - but there's no silver bullet or one size fits all with saving. Everyone's situation is different."

Another idea - as soon as you get your check from work, turn it into cash. Then label envelopes with categories like food, bills, entertainment. Put the cash in those envelopes and don't spend more than you've allotted.

"When you wake up in the morning, you have some savings," said Overton. "That's a far better deal than going, 'How am I going to pay this bill at the end of the month?' You choose how to live. If you save, it'll change your life."

One warning though: if you have a lot of credit card debt or anything that adds interest to your payments, Overton recommends paying that off before you start saving.

You can get a handle on your finances by using free websites like mint.com. Mint offers a free app as well. The site organizes your spending so you see where every dime is going.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

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