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Ask Jean: How Can I Save on $10K A Year?!?

mailbagmondayQ: I’m 24 and just starting out. I really want to save money, but how can I do so while only making 10K per year? I’m trying to put money into a savings account, but it’s not adding up fast, at all – Ashley

A: I know the feeling! When I graduated from college, I was only earning 11,000 a year. Granted, my rent at the time was much lower than rents today (only $400 in Brooklyn) but I couldn’t save at all. I couldn’t even make ends meet. I very quickly racked up credit card debt equal to a half year’s salary. Eventually I did what I think you may have to think about doing – I got a second job. I started teaching and tutoring SATs at night. And (once I dealt with the credit card) I was able to start to save some of that money. That may be tough in this economy, but I think you should give it a try. The other thing to look for is a savings account that pays a little more interest. While it’s true that savings account interest rates are very disappointing right now, some are better than others. Look at smartypig.com where the APY is 1.75%. And know that interest rates will eventually go up, and this rate will go up with them. Finally, I just want to say that I don’t know all that many people your age who are as focused on saving as you are. Just the fact that you’re thinking about it – and that you took the time to write me – tells me that you’re going to get where you want to go! — Jean

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