BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Right on the Money: how to beat the system and build your savings

May 13, 2019, 12:49 PM | Updated: 12:59 pm
savings system right on the money...
Many economists are fearful of a recession in 2023. Photo: Getty Images

Editorial note: this story is the first in a series, “Right on the Money.” Find other stories to help you build your savings here.

Several surveys show a majority of Americans don’t even have $1,000 in a savings account. But is the system getting in the way?

Experts say we have shifted from a savings culture into a financing culture, and bank fees and credit card interest can really hurt people.

And expenses and taxes and fees are all going up, but wages really are not.

“My students didn’t understand that if you make the minimum payment, you will be paying several times more. Banks are a business, they charge fees, they charge penalties. That’s how they make money. Save your money, don’t give it all to the bank,” said East High School financial literacy teacher Judy Hatch.

Even the experts struggle with savings

Don Milne was no exception.

“At one point, my wife and I had $26,000 in consumer debt, because I was trying to do too much at once,”  he said.

He’s the financial literacy manager at Zions Bank and he turned things around for his own family.

“If I could tell you to just do one thing: Make savings a priority,” he said.

Save smarter, not harder

Milne says the system is what it is, but you have to be smarter.

“The average person with a credit card balance pays $3,000 in interest. If you only make $50,000 a year, which is the average income, that’s a lot. Who has $3,000 extra they want to send to a credit card company every year? That’d make a great amount to put in IRA or 401k,” said Milne.

Fees can exacerbate a stressful situation, and if you are in stress you will make poor decisions. That’s why people in poverty often stay in poverty, the experts say.

The system can work for you if you make savings a habit, Hatch says. And it can be set up automatically.

“Set it up for an auto payment,” said Hatch. “The money goes into a separate account so it’s just done, and you don’t have to think about it. Pay yourself first.”

And our system has something incredible called compound interest, where the money you put into an account starts to make more money, and it goes up and up from there.

“Your future self needs to be more important than your current self,” said Milne.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

A new service called Cottonwood Connect could address parking problems at the ski resorts in Big an...
Kate Davis and Simone Seikaly

Cottonwood Connect offers a new way to get up Cottonwood Canyons

The goal is to fill gaps left when UTA limited ski bus service. The shuttle will run Thursday through Sunday through mid-April.
21 hours ago
The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with mom...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

Most economists think the economy will slow further in the current quarter and slide into at least a mild recession by midyear.
21 hours ago
About 87% of Tuesday's US flight cancellations are Southwest, according to flight tracking website ...
Pete Muntean and Greg Wallace, CNN

US Transportation Dept. investigating Southwest holiday travel meltdown

The US Transportation Department said it is in the early stages of an investigation into the Southwest Airlines holiday travel meltdown in December.
21 hours ago
PayPal...
Curt Gresseth

Banks to launch app to compete with Apple Pay and Venmo

Banks are launching a new app for online money transfers that customers can trust to protect their finances.
2 days ago
Founded in Salt Lake City Beans & Brews Coffeehouse was recognized as a top franchise in Entreprene...
Waverly Golden

Beans & Brews Coffeehouse named a top franchise

Founded in Salt Lake City Beans & Brews Coffeehouse was recognized as a top franchise in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 this year.
3 days ago
Most business economists expect their companies to cut payrolls in the coming months. Photo credit:...
Matt Egan, CNN

More layoffs are on the way, survey of business economists finds

 (CNN) — For the first time since the early days of the pandemic, most business economists expect their companies to cut payrolls in the coming months, according to a new survey released Monday. Just 12% of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) anticipate employment will increase at their firms over the next […]
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Right on the Money: how to beat the system and build your savings