It is no secret that Americans struggle to save money for retirement. The statistics are staggering; 57% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, and 39% have no savings whatsoever. Not only that, but the mean retirement savings for fifty-six to sixty-one-year old’s in America is $163,000, which gives you about $6,000-$7,000 of income per year – not much to go on.

How did we end up here?

An old mentor of mine said that there are two types of people in the world. First, you have the person that tends to spend first and then save what’s left over, and then the person who saves first and spends what is leftover. The problem with the first is that there’s never anything left over. He said the most powerful concept in finance is that the first group of people tend to be dependent upon the second group of people. You don’t want to be in this first group.

“But I don’t make enough money”

You might think, “I know I need to save more, but I just don’t make enough money”. Income is not the problem though. Here’s a secret of finance: People tend to spend all their money, regardless of their income. We have different occupations with different incomes; some make less, and some make much more, but they all end up in the same situation with little or nothing saved, because they’ve spent it all. People who spend first, spend all the money that comes in, leaving nothing saved.

How do we get out of this position?

First, I want you to think about the bills that you have. You pay for your auto insurance, telephone bills, heat and air, electric bills, and mortgage or rent. You would never think of not paying those bills; you consider them necessities.

I want you to think about making YOU the number one priority. You need to be the first bill that you pay. When you put saving on the same level as paying your bills, you will find that many other things you spend your money on are not as important as you thought they were. If saving becomes a non-negotiable item, your spending habits will automatically adjust to your new budget. This is how you will get ahead when it comes to your finances.

Make you priority number one in saving for the future.