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Futureproofing: 1/10th



Twenty-eight percent of Americans have nothing in their savings accounts and another twenty-one percent don't even have a savings account, according to a recent survey. Another survey revealed that a majority of Americans can't cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt. It wasn't always this way, nor should it be now.

Saving money isn't hard, but it does require discipline. It doesn't even require a savings account, if cash is your thing (if so, I fervently suggest keeping your stash in a safe or other lockable box, preferably one so heavy as to deter stealing the whole box). The amount of how much to save is a shifting target; I've been told to save amounts ranging from "all you can" to certain percentages to whatever change is in pocket. A figure that works for me is ten percent.

Ten percent is the amount prescribed by many religions. Also known as tithing, the practice predates currency, when one was expected to sacrifice one tenth of one's harvest, be it crop or livestock, then grew to include money as society progressed. This same figure is proposed in more secular practice, including the book The Richest Man In Babylon, a fine piece of financial advise disguised as ancient parable.

The key mindset of saving is the knowledge that part of all you earn is yours too keep. Resist squandering your earnings as best you can, and forgive yourself for the occasional indulgence. Discipline is the key. Got ten one dollar bills? Keep one, then repeat.

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