Starting Savings Habits

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Most Americans manage their own money and according to a new study from CNBC and Acorns over half are more confident about their ability to save for retirement than they were three years ago.

But achieving that goal takes a good deal of discipline.

Laura Zoltan and Benjamin Reed, met in college, moved to New York after graduation, and got married in 2014 but they started discussing money even before marriage.

Now they’re focused on raising their daughter Zoe and they still talk regularly about spending and saving to make sure they’re on the right track.

Laura Zoltan says, “I think we both feel really good about the position we’re in now and that’s because we started right away, straight from college, maxing out our 401ks and really doing everything we could from the beginning. So the savings and money have only compounded over time. I think we would be in a different spot if we only started thinking about this now.”

Optimism around saving may be improving for some, a new “invest in you” survey from CNBC and Acorns finds having enough money for retirement is still a top financial concern for many. Ben follows the advice of many financial advisors – making saving a habit.

Benjamin Reed says, “Before I went to graduate school, you know you’re making just enough money to get by in New York City, and that extra couple thousand that you put away for your 401k at the time I would have loved to have it in my hands, but now I’m so happy that I put it away because it’s grown and it sort of encourages you to keep doing that.

Laura agrees their frugal spending habits and early efforts to save have boosted their confidence.

Zoltan says, “We didn’t get used to a lifestyle as though we had made that money in cash.”

While the invest in you survey found more than a quarter of people almost never discuss personal finances with members of their family… Laura and Ben say talking about their savings success and challenges has kept them on the same page.

For this couple, “the money talk” is an ongoing dialogue.

NBCUniversal and Comcast ventures are investors in acorns.

One of the best ways to start this process is to automate your savings plan.

That means setting up your savings accounts,  retirement funds, and debt-repayment plans to automatically draw money from your paycheck.

Putting your financial plan on autopilot keeps you from having to make hard and time-consuming decisions each month.

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