How Old Were You When You Started Saving? (Answer and Win!)

by Linsey Knerl on 7 July 2009 118 comments

According to a study commissioned by the AICPA, for every dollar of assets owned by 25-34 year old consumers in the United States, they are carrying 70 cents worth of debt.  If that seems excessive, then you understand how important it is to begin saving as soon as possible!  Lucky for us, we now have more resources available to help the young (and the not-so-young) set attainable savings goals and keep moving forward with putting away money for their future. 

We want to know about your savings experiences!  How old were you when you began to seriously start saving?  What tools and tricks have you found to be helpful?  If you're among the many people who haven't been able to save, what is holding you back?

In addition to being entered to win our typical Trivia Tuesday prize of one of two $10 Amazon Gift Cards, we have a special prize to giveaway in conjunction with FeedThePig.org.  6 winners will be chosen to get a prize pack, containing piggy bank, stress ball, key chain, and weepul, all inspired by “spokespig” Benjamin Bankes.  (Benjamin urges young adults to spend within or below their means as part of the FeedThePig campaign.) Prize packs are pictured above.

Those of you who aren’t familiar with the “drill,” read below for full details:

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

We're doing two giveaways -- one for random comments, and another one for a random tweets.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer.  Include "@wisebread" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Wednesday, July 8th at 11:59pm CST. Winners will be announced after July 9th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings -- once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets with "@wisebread" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

 Good luck!

Looking for more fun tools to help in saving for your future?  Maybe you'll like:

  • Beat the brain - A quick quiz to help you identify thinking and behavioral patterns that lead to overspending
  • 5% challenge  - An interactive tool to help you calculate your savings goals
  • Resource section - This nifty list of "must reads" will give you a good start in learning more about money

(FeedThePig.org is sponsored by the AICPA.)

 

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Guest

My parents helped us each open a savings account when I was about 7 (and my two siblings were younger). I saved almost all of my birthday/Christmas money for years. Then, in high school, when I started working, I kept on saving.

I think my the time I graduated high school, a had a few thousand dollars. In college, I couldn't really save, and used some of that money, but now that I'm an adult, I'm back in the savings habit.

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Scott

In high school, we learned about Personal Financial Statements or "PFS". Assets pretty much included a small savings account and some clothes. In college, I kept it up and realized that if I added debt, my net worth became negative. Of course, with student loans this happened! But as I paid off my loans and began my adult life, I realized that if I took, say, $500 out of savings to buy clothes or something, that $500 disappeared! I could not add it to my personal property line because what are used clothes worth? It's probably a little silly, but it has helped my from buying things that don't hold value. And now I'm in my 30's, positive net worth, and have over a year's salary in savings!

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sbm

Still haven't - not seriously. Wading out from debt is my first priority.

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Meredith

I started seriously saving when I was 27--I am 28 now! It's a whole new lifestyle to learn!

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Just_Kelly

When I was 25 I started having money auto deposited into a Roth IRA.

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Emily

I started saving at a VERY early age - I saved all my tooth fairy money. My parents were all about being responsible with money. I soon opened my own savings account in middle school once I realized that the whole "bag of money" in the closet didn't quite cut it anymore. I saved about 90% of my earnings from my first jobs, started a money market account, and bought a few CDs to earn better interest. I'm about the only person in my group of friends with a retirement account (and also the one of the few who knows the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA). I'm learning to treat myself - you can't save EVERYTHING - but I'm definitely going to keep the savings habit going. There's nothing like being prepared for whatever life may throw at you!

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mongolian

I never had an allowance or an afterschool job as a kid, so I didn't have any money to save until high school. I did a summer internship my sophomore year and received about ~$1000 for a stipend. My mother opened up an account for me at her bank and that was my first real exposure to money management.

Guest's picture

I've had a savings account since at least the age of 4. It's been through a merger or two but I still actually have this account. Not much in it, but for nostalgia purposes I've kept it.

Guest's picture

I'm 27 now, so I guess 28 would be the right answer!

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Sarah Galbraith

I started saving at the age of 8. I remember my parents giving me a bank that had three separate compartments....one for tithing (donation) one for college and one for fun-money. It actually was a great way to learn that those things do need to be separate and that each one of them were important.

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Guest

I had my first job at 12 working in my uncle's meat market. I wanted to buy a bicycle so I began saving. I made $3.00 a day. My parents were poor, so if I wanted anything I had to buy it myself. Thus began my lifetime of being a saver. Being a saver has served me well. I sent two children to college, and now at 64 am debt free. It does make for a much nicer retirement.

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OnOurWay

I too just started saving recently at 25. The summer before college I worked a great job and earned a ton of money since I had no real expenses. By the time I went away to school in the fall I had less than $300 left. Looking back at that time in my life is scary.

Hopefully i'm on the road to better times ahead.

Meg

onourwayonline.com

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bashtree

I've saved for as long as I've come into contact with money. When I was young/a teenager, I almost hoarded money I earned as a form of security in an otherwise turbulent home. As a result, I never developed big spending habits, and I've been a saver ever since. I graduated from a (real, actual) piggy bank to a (real, actual) savings account when I was 13, and a checking account when I was 15. I wrote checks so infrequently, though, that I probably still have half the book from that first account floating around somewhere.

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Amy

When I was about 10, my dad took me to the bank to get me my own savings account. I had always been a saver and it was exciting to get my own ATM card and pick my pin number.

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Cobblestonne

I got in a lot of debt during college, my biggest shame moment was when they requested a $1200 DEPOSIT for a cell phone because I was so upside down on everything. When my first husband died the estate and wiping out my 403b got me set up again and debt free {excpet for student loans}. I was 28. I took about 5 years of practicing not overspending before I really got around to starting to save. So ... about 33.

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Nicki

The first distinct memory of saving I have was from when I was 10 and liked to swap out any cash I had for singles so that I could put them into separate peanut butter jars to save up for separate items. When that became too much of a hassle we just moved the money into a bank account but I still kept the separate jar accounts by tracking them on paper instead.

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bgj

I remember saving spare change and one dollar bills in my pencil box when I was 4 and how much I liked filling the box. By the time I got a babysitting gig for cousins when I was 10 my parents knew that a bank account would work for me. By the time I wanted to buy my first car I had over $4000 saved. That savings account turned into my checking account during college and I found a higher yield savings account. By the time my husband and I bought our first house last year, I had managed to turn my pencil box money into a substantial down payment on the house. Don't get me wrong, I have student loan debt. No credit card debt, but student loan debt that surpassed my down payment on a house. But it is manageable and locked in at a low rate. I balance my managed debt with the good investment in our home. It is what has worked for me.

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Jamie G

I have been a lifelong saver, and I still have some savings bonds from relatives from before I was born. I was naturally a saver and remember my coffee can bank filled with 20's from Christmas and birthday stashes. I rente my first apartment the day I graduated high school, and I had a few thousand dollars saved from working summer jobs and graduation savings. I'm nostalgic for the CDs with interest rates of 6-7%!

Thanks for another contest.

Guest's picture

I've always been a saver for as far back as I can remember, but I guess I didn't start seriously saving (ie thinking about my future as an adult) until I graduated college. Prior to that I was just saving for new clothes, saving for the prom, and saving for spending money during college.

When I got my first job, I didn't make a lot of money, but it was more than I've ever had. I took advantage of the company match in the 401k and haven't looked back from there. Even before I knew what it meant to save for retirement, I knew I wasn't going to turn down free money! My only debt is a smallish student loan at an interest rate of under 3%. I've never spent more than I had in the bank.

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Dominik

started at 24-25, when reaching a peak of debt with around 1000 euros. That was when I really realized that I have to do something.

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Paul

I started at 7 with the help of my dad. I had just gotten $5 in birthday money and we went to the credit union and deposited it there in a brand new account. I recall being thrilled at the time but disappointed by my rate of return a few months later.

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Jules

Started saving at 18, in the Navy. I remember when I saved my first $10K and how hard it was to get to that point and stick to it. From there I told myself I was not going to go below 10K, ever. And I haven't yet.

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Guest

the age of 37 - that means striving to achieve cash in the bank that was more than just a cushion and not spending more than I made.
Thank goodness I did too - just got laid off today!

Guest's picture

We (my sister and I) started seriously saving after having miscalculated and underestimated our moving expenses from Hawaii to California and coming close to a $0 account balance after paying the movers. We'd never been frivolous with our money but that experience was too close a call for us and we tightened our purse strings to the point of watching every dollar we spent.

We just made it a common goal (we share all our money) to save as much as we could, spend wisely and have never looked back. It's been about 6 years now and we've learned a lot of tricks along the way - too many little things to list here, but the main thing to remember is to keep things in perspective and never forget to look at the big picture.

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claire7676

My Dad helped me open my first savings account when I was 13. I had gotten Bat Mitzvah'ed and was amazed at the money I received as presents! I think it was $500 or something. I had no idea what to do with it, so it was my first savings account deposit.

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T

I believe my parents started savings accounts for all three kids when I was about 8 (which would have made my brother 11 and my sister 6). I used that account exclusively all through college and into my work-life, until 2002 when I started saving through ING. I still have that other account at my first bank, though!

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Guest

I started saving in 1989. I was 20, had my "real" first job, and started contributing to a 401K. After I left that job, I rolled it over into an IRA and started automatically contributing a very small amount each month. Then I added some mutual funds and paid for them the same way. I'm 40 now and it's amazing how it's all added up. And time does fly--it seems like no time at all.

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Josh

I started saving money when I was 10 because I wanted to buy Pokemon cards. I realized how much money you could save up at a young age. I remember even researching government bonds and asking my grandma for them for birthdays and Christmas. Of course, as a young child you don't really have much of an income to save. When I turned 14, I really wanted a laptop computer and new my parents wouldn't buy me one. That was my motivation to get my first job, of which I saved all my money toward my future purchase. Back then, there weren't too many tools on savings like there are now with the advent of the Internet. I just borrowed a lot of books from the library to learn about saving accounts, investments, etc. I'm 22 now and all that research has paid off. :)

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Emma

I began saving my own money as soon as I got my first job in college, around age 20. As soon as I was out of debt I opened a savings account where I deposit money every month that I do not touch - that's the key! It's great to know I have money saved for when I REALLY need it.

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Kristy

I started saving at 25, when I got married. We paid off all our debt and built an emergency fund... but then we decided to send my husband to college, so any potential savings are now being diverted to tuition payments. Sigh.

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Molly

First grade - so 6 or 7. The bank had a savings account promotion for kids going on, and I joined that. I also remember going to the bank with my parents frequently when I was younger than that. It helps that when I was young, I couldn't get to the store on my own, and my parents weren't going to wait around for me to get something with my own money. I also never rememberd to bring my own money with me to the store. And I loved to count - I REALLY loved to count money, and I didn't want to see those piles of coins shrink. Come to think of it, I still love to count money...

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Amber

I was having this conversation with my fiance last night. The question was: did having massive student loan debt put us in a position to follow our dreams?

My answer is yes. Combined we have over 100k of student loan debt but it's low-interest debt. More importantly, it is a huge looming responsibility that has made us change our behaviors - we spend less, invest wisely, wear things out, spend less than we earn. Because we're changing our habits for long-term planning, we're actually able to save far more than we need to meet the minimums on our loans. We could pay off the loans more quickly or... save for a down payment, take a 6-month sabbatical in Europe, or pay for a fancy wedding. The point being that we are in control of our lives and know where our money is going.

Until I started writing down where every single penny of my money went (that was 6 months ago), I wasn't seriously saving for anything. Now I'm considering the vast possibilities available to me in life. It's a nice feeling.

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Guest

Started at a very young age, five or six years old. Back in the fifties banks would encourage you to save and offer really neat banks for your savings. Every month or two I would empty my banks and take the coins and my passbook to the bank. They would offer some new type of little bank to put my coins in and this went on for years.
I went into the military in 1962 and had drafts from my paycheck sent to my hometown passbook savings account. After four plus years in the military I withdrew from my passbook account and ordered a new car and was able to pay cash for it.
During my forty plus years of employment I would contribute to my retirement account, buy savings bonds and later saved into my 401 account.
Guess my savings habits carried over into my retirement years where at sixty five I still put a little each month into a savings account or mutual fund.
The negative is I still have credit card debt but nothing too serious and use my credit cards for a major purchase, foolish perhaps but hate to use savings.

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Christina

I started seriously saving at 16, when I got my first job. I was raised that saving was important, although money mattered more than it probably should have in our household. But when i got my first paycheck I put most of it into a savings account and only kept a little in cash for myself.

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sara l

The rule when I was growing up was that half of everything I received had to go into the piggy bank/bank. I changed the percentage when I got my first job but continued to save though high school and college.

With my first 'real' job my salary didn't match cost of living, so occasionally I hit the savings but kept adding to them. Grad school + my fiancee being unemployed for long periods killed all of the savings we had, though over the past year we've been working on saving and paying down debt.

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Nora

I started late in life (35years old), but I am making strides...

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Jen

When I was 16 I got a job at a grocery store making $5.75 an hour. After that I could never look at money the same way again. I attached time to every item that I saw that I wanted to buy, asking myself: Is buying this worth being in the grocery store for X hours? Usually the answer was no, so I basically saved my entire paycheck every week.

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echomyst

My parents never gave me nor my younger brother allowance while we were growing up. However, my dad would once in a while give me his pocket change and I'd keep all of it in my desk somewhere.

One day, I saw in my school math textbook a tutorial on how to create a pyramid "piggy bank" from cardboard, so I decided to make one. From then on, I started saving all the loose change in there. My mom later bought me a "real" piggy bank after my cardboard one filled up.

When I was old enough to have my own part-time jobs (camp counselling, paper route), I started a savings account at our local bank with the help of my parents.

I think the fact that our parents never gave us an allowance actually helped my brother and I be more conscious of our money. The only "debt" I've had was student loans, and right now, four years after university, I'm debt-free. My husband and I are trying to save for our first house, and it's not easy even though we're pretty careful with our money (I'm more careful than he is, but there's got to be a balance, right?)!

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majlufkin

Had my first job when I was six years old. Okay, it wasn't working in the diamond mine or anything ... my grandmother paid me to roll coins for her. She had this big jar of change and she told me should would give me half of the money if I would put all the coins into rolls.

I worked my little fingers raw rolling up the pennies, imagining all the amazing things I was going to buy. When we took the rolls to the bank to cash them in, Grandma promptly took me over and opened up a savings passbook account and deposited all my hard earned money into it. (I should mention that she was a teller at the bank.) Then she added all of her money from the coins as well and told me she would match any money I saved dollar for dollar.

I learned a great lesson that day. I guess my greed for those matching dollars overcame my desire for the candy and toys I was planning on buying, and a saver was born.

Grandma kept her end of the bargain and eventually that passbook savings account paid for my first year of college.

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Jaime

I started saving for retirement (401k) when I got my first real job after college at 22. I started seriously saving for anything besides retirement this year (for my wedding). Hopefully after I get married in September, I can divert savings to other goals...

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Denise

I started saving involuntarily when I was 9 and my mom put most of my paper route money into a savings account. When I was about 18 my goal was to move out of my parent's house, so I began seriously saving, mostly by not spending on wants (only needs such as food, gas). As an adult I looked for ways to make meals out of basic ingredients, bought second hand, shopped sales, and used direct deposit to set aside a certain amount of income to savings. Now, I also use simple budgeting software so that I see more clearly what I am working with, where my money is going and what I have allocated for each month.

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Teaspoon

I only began saving in a serious way last year, at the age of 25. I didn't have any good financial role models, so it took awhile for me to learn the value of saving money. But I'm saving diligently, and paying off debt at the same time, and I'm proud of my progress. I only wish I'd started 5 years ago.

Guest's picture

I'd have to say that I was 23 when I first started saving seriously (after completing my Masters), and my savings method is simple; I put the first 30 - 40% of my paycheck in the bank on payday and invest across a diversified portfolio.

Granted I'm only recently married (now 27), have $0 student loans, have a good paying job as a consultant, rent, and have no kids so this may be easier said than done. But one of the best pieces of advice I ever received was not to buy a new car after graduatation (I drive a 10 year old Toyota). Point being, always live below your means. It's definitely made the current economic crisis easier to stomach.

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Beth

I honestly can't remember when I started saving. I remember putting pennies in a piggy bank even before I had an allowance. Once I started baby-sitting and got a paper route, a certain amount of my earnings went into savings bonds for college.

But I think I'd still peg my real savings efforts as starting at 22. That's when my money (and savings) stopped going towards college and started going towards retirement and an emergency fund.

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Janelle

I was 38 and my husband was 35. Horrid I know. It is for retirement only, as we need to pay off debt before we can beef up personal savings beyond the $1,000. emergency fund. My kids have been saving every month though. I'm hoping they will learn these things at their young ages and it'll be a lifetime habit.

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Tina

I started saving with my first paycheck. In my household, money was meant to be saved, not spent. It is a mentality I still have today.

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Lulu

Started saving at 5 yrs old with a plastic piggy bank from the Dollar General Store. Was one of the cheapest ($2.00) and best gift anyone ever game me. I miss him now but he's long gone (got him in 1980).

I will admit I wasn't much of a saver until about 2 years ago. Not sure what changed. Started saving in a regular bank and then got a jar and saved change. I've turned in lots of change in the last few years. It does add up. Plus, it supports me using cash instead of credit. I like to get coins back for my savings jar.

:)

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K.S. Katz

As a kid, I was really good about savings. Back then my financial goals included saving for Barbie dolls and new bicycle. I had an allowance and would put money away in my piggy bank until I could buy what I wanted.

Then my teen years hit. Suddenly it was all about instant gratification. I always worked through high school but I didn't think about the future. I lived paycheck to paycheck. When I got a credit card in college...yeah, suddenly I was working to pay my next credit card bill. My dad bailed me out but it wasn't without strings...I had to create a budget and savings plan.

Since then, I've been better about savings. Better, not perfect. ;)

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Guest

I started saving when I was 18. I was babysitting over the summer and split my checks 50-50 checking/savings. Now that I have a job, I have them direct deposit about 40% of my paycheck into my savings account and I do not touch it. I have found this to be more or less effective, but the temptation to transfer money from my savings is huge, especially with online banking.

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Donna

I've always been a person that never spends too much. But when I moved into my own condo at 26, I really had to start saving for the mortgage. I started buying generic brands, clipping coupons, and just do more deal searching in general.

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matt

Not as young as I would have liked. I must have been 10-12 when I remember starting to save. I have my kids saving starting at an earlier age. They started at 7 and 11 and put 25% of any allowance they earn into their savings accounts. My son is great and saving but my daughter has want-itis and saving is really hard for her.

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ryan

i started saving when i was 12, when i started working. i saved up until college when that all was spent.

started saving again at about 24, but since i owed a lot of money i didnt consider it savings. now that i am just recently debt free, at 28, i consider myself actually saving again

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ryan

i started saving when i was 12, when i started working. i saved up until college when that all was spent.

started saving again at about 24, but since i owed a lot of money i didnt consider it savings. now that i am just recently debt free, at 28, i consider myself actually saving again

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Tricia

I started saving my money when I started getting an allowance at the age of 8. I learned that if I wanted anything extra I had to save. It brought freedom as well. It was my own money and I could spend it on whatever I wanted, including all the Beatles' records and magazines I wanted. Now, if I only saved those magazines!

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ryan

started around 12, blew it all in college. debt free as of 2 mos ago, 28, so now i consider myself actually saving again

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BRB

On and off for the last few years, so hopefully by the time I turn 29 I'll really be able to start the serious saving.

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Kate

I'm another one who has been saving all my life. Rarely spent money when I got it for my birthday or another occasion growing up, just stashed it in my savings account to watch it grow. I started seriously saving when I got my first jobs in high school and then in college. Honestly, I think my biggest problem is saving too much! I've always put away at least half of my paycheck - at times closer to 90%, especially when I was younger with less real expenses! What I'm bad at is spending my money for fun when I don't necessarily have to.

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Sarah

I guess I started saving when I was six. I pretty much saved every penny I earned from doing chores. I now have an unpaid internship, and I hate not being able to save right now!

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sarah sevcech

i started saving around the age of 10, when i begged my parents to take me to the bank and let me open my own account.

i used birthday money and the occasional babysitting moneys, and i believe i started out with somewhere around $50-$100.

my parents never took me to the bank for deposits after that, but i would get bank statements every three months, and it was fun watching my money grow.

the second bank statement i got said i had about $1.
my mother had wiped my bank account clean.

since moving out, i've managed to save up to $1500, but it's always with a goal in mind, so i really don't have anything to show for it except for really amazing memories.

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Amit

I read lot of times about savings and personal finance but never got serious about it. But after the age of 30 I woke up (better late than never). Started reading lot of good blogs about frugal living and personal finance like simpledollar.com, getrichslowly.com and wisebread.com. Now I can see something in my savings account after the hardwork of couple of yrs. Long way to go though

Guest's picture

I was forced into saving by my parents, but frankly when I was growing up, kids didn't have so much Stuff so it wasn't particularly painful.

When I started working as a teenager, I saved because it was My Money, and I wanted to keep it! My 20s and 30s didn't go so well with savings. 20s because desires for Stuff finally got the better of me, 30s because of family obligations.

Best way to save now is not to spend. That sounds so simple, but in our culture it's an uphill fight, but also the key to just about everything else financial.

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Paige

Started late in life (35) but trying to make up for it now.

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Kristin

The first major savings effort that I remember was when I was 11, and my father told me that if I saved $100, he would be me ticket to Minnesota (from Florida) so that I could spend Christmas with my grandparents. I don't think he really thought that I would do it. Around November, I went to him with my hundred dollars, and told him I'd like for him to buy me the ticket. My mother then says, "I want to spend Christmas with my parents also." My savings effort ended up costing my father a Christmas trip for the whole family.

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EMM

I wasn't quite as young as some of these savers, but around the 7th grade (I was 12) I babysat for the first time and my dad (who happened to be a bank manager) helped me open my first checking and savings account.

In the 8th grade I wanted an $80 windbreaker but didn't have the money for it. After begging my dad he "loaned" me the money interest free. I was lucky to babysit once a month for $10-$20 a pop, and after paying him about 75% of my earnings for a year, I decided it wasn't something I enjoyed!

I saved on and off after that but only for small purchases. I started saving a consistent amount when I got my first job out of college at 22. My dad recommended 10%, so that's what I've been saving for the past three years.

The savings habits my husband and I learned early on (we were married at 19 and 20) were a blessing to us. We relocated to a smaller town closer to family and he decided to go back to school. We have been able to save his entire part-time paycheck (about 48 hours a month) to pay cash for him going back to school, while buying a small house, saving for retirement, and living on my paycheck. And that has been AWESOME!

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Nicky

Sadly, I'm still struggling with proper saving. I've got a 401k (thank God it's something I can't touch), and I save for short term goals such as trips, but I don't have an emergency fund and I'm not quite *there* yet when it comes to saving/spending balance. It's quite frustrating, to be honest.

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Margaret

I opened my first savings account with my mom when I was 5 with $5 I got for my birthday. I was saving up for an American Girl Doll ($100) but never ended up buying it because I didn't want to spend all my money. Oh well!

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Sarah S

My first job out of college had a decidedly savings-unfriendly policy of not letting you contribute to the 401K plan until you were 25. So instead, I started a Roth IRA, which I have contributed to every year in the 10 years since then.

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Rosa

I couldn't get a library card or my own passbook at the bank until I could sign my name, so as soon as I could, my mom took me to get both.

I had that same passbook (saved up for girl scout camp, and then college) until the bank got bought up by a bigger bank, and then an even bigger one, and then an even bigger one that wouldn't stamp the passbook and charged a service fee on small bank accounts, which drove me out (I was a broke college student by then).

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Erin

I opened my first savings account when I was 7 years old. I would save up birthday/Christmas money and the occasional bit of allowance money. As I got older, I saved up money from babysitting and my crappy high school jobs. It didn't stay in its savings account for long; I used it to buy gifts and later on for gas. I entered college with a couple thousand dollars though.

I'm now 23 and have started saving seriously. I have a Roth IRA that I contribute to each month as well as a Money Market account that I intend to use for car/house/wedding/etc. in the next 10 years or so. Soon I'll have income again (I'm unemployed this summer), and my savings can grow even more!

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Guest

I have always saved my change. One of my earliest memories is raiding my piggybank, not to spend any of the money, just to count it. Then I would put it all back. I wish I kept that skill. At 36 i have no savings, all my money is going to payoff debt. Hopefully I will be debt free in two years and start to save again. I am definately teaching my children how to save, something that was lacking in my education.

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kara

i started saving at about age 5. i loved pennies, id do all sort of chores or sings songs for pennies, dig through the cushions and such. my parents have pictures of me with gallon size zip locks full of pennies before my first trip to the bank to open my account. i still have that account and i still pick up pennies (heads up or not! a pennys a penny!) actually i picked on up this morning.

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Saved

I am 42. No savings yet.

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typome

I started saving probably around 5th grade. I had $12 and my mom took me to Wells Fargo and opened up a savings account for me. We put the $12 in there, and I would deposit money in the years ahead.

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Jennifer

I had a piggy bank when I was about 5 and a savings account when I was about 7. Neither of them really worked since as soon as I got up to a decent amount, my sibling would raid the piggy bank or my parents would empty out the savings account. After a while, I would keep little amounts in my dirty laundry or my closet since I was the only one that washed the household's clothes. I got a credit card at 14/15, but didn't really use it because it was mostly to use the ticketing kiosks at the airport and if I bought anything, I had to pay my father back right away. Any paychecks I had got cashed at the bank and spent because I never knew if I would have it later.

As soon as I was 18 and graduated from high school though, I got my first checking account, another savings account, my first checkbook, my first atm card, another student credit card, funded my first Roth IRA, and really started to save. It was fun watching it grow, but after year 2 of college, I lost my scholarship and have been diverting all of my pay and tapping into the savings for tuition and room and board. Maybe in a few years when I'm out of college, I'll be able to save like I was.

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Patrick

I started saving when I was 5. I know this because one of my first, most vivid memories was finding my old Donald Duck wallet when I was 6 in my parents' couch cushions with $100 I had saved inside. I couldn't find it for months and it royally bothered me to have lost all my savings. I remember weeks later talking to my friends near a two story house for sale down the street, telling them I could probably buy that house now that I had found my wallet and had over $100. I have been a serious saver my whole life, from writing essays about saving and investing in middle school, to my first job at 14, to opening my IRA at 18 and watching my retirement accounts religiously ever since. Saving has been and will continue to be one of the great passions of my life.

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bobthebunny

It was a bit after my 21st birthday, and I had blown a LOT of money on booze for me and my friends. I looked at my bank account - almost 0 - and decided I needed to make a change.

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Patricia Dermody

I started saving when I was 6 years old. My parents got me a bank that only accepted dimes. You could not open it until $10.00 worth of dimes was deposited in it. Every time company came over, I brought out my "birthday present" to show everyone, and of course they had to search their purses or pockets for dimes! When it opened w/$10.00 it went into a bank account of mine and that is how I started saving!

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Tyler

I didn't get heavy into saving until I was 18. I had saved a bit from time to time, but by the time I hit 18 I was completely broke. Now my net worth is up to 20k, and I'm working hard to get my savings and investments up.

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Michelle

It makes me so angry to hear about parents who do that. I hope you now have people you can trust.

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JBP

I started saving money late in 2005, when I was 23 years old. However, I started really saving money (i.e. not just a savings account at my local bank) in February of 2009 (when I was 25). Luckily, I had a bit in my savings account by this point, so I was able to catch up on my Roth IRA from 2008 before the April deadline, which I had no idea about until I signed up with Vanguard. Thankfully, I've had good, dumb luck in a lot of things when it comes to saving money!

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Guest

Maybe 6.... but when I was 7 my wallet was stolen with every last cent of my 27 dollars in it. I grew bitter and kept spending after that....

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Cheryl

As a child and teen, my parents "made" me save birthday money, and money from my summer job....unfortunately, like most young people, I thought I knew everything and did not listen to their good advice about having a "cushion" in the bank, and did not REALLY start saving until I hit 40! Now I am frantically trying to catch up! If I could go back and start again - the money I would save! Famous last words. All I can do now is try to teach my own nieces and nephews the value of saving their money and having a cushion in the bank - and pray that, unlike me, they will listen!

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Amanda

I've pretty much been savings ever since I started earning money when I was 16. I had savings accounts before then (my parents created them for me and contributed), but it was when I got a job and started earning properly that I've saved. I've never been a spendthrift!

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Jim

in 6th or 7th grade when I got a newspaper delivery route. Great way to learn responsibility, cash management and budgeting in addition to saving money.

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I think I started saving around age 4 or 5. I would ask my mom for all of the spare change in the bottom of her purse. I stored it in a silver piggy bank, one I still use for spare change, and every month my dad would help me count it and roll it into paper wrappers.

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Andrea

I started saving when I was in middle school--I wanted a nicer violin than the one I had, and my parents said they'd match my savings.

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Caitlin

From the time I was little, I always had a pink bear bank. The two momentous events of my 5th birthday were getting a library card and starting a savings account. The first item has helped me utilize the free books available to expand my knowledge without spending a cent; the latter holds nearly two decades worth of birthday presents, baby sitting money, and summer job savings. It always seemed like a game to see how much money I could add to my account before the next statement came. As an adult, saving money still has whimsy, as I enjoy seeing my savings (now diversified beyond a simple account) grow!

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Ita Vanderbrook

As immigrants, we were very very poor when I was growing up so I did not get an allowance. Therefore, I never really did have any money to save until I got a job. I started delivering newspapers when I was ~14. I helped my brother with his route, folding papers for him and he gave me a small cut of his earnings. When he went to VietNam I inherited his route.

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Guest

It took me until 35 to actually learn how to budget and start saving!

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Alex12345

And I got my first job. I was determined to buy my own car when I turned 16 so I put everything into a savings account and would only carry $100 with me at a time (no credit card and no debit...if that $100 ran out I had to go to the bank to get more...a little more practical in middle school). When I turned 16, I bought my own car and I am still loving her! Now, I have my credit card and debit card, but a majority still goes into savings and I always pay everything off in full.

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Kelli

When I was young I was a really great saver. My mom opened up a savings account for me when I was a kid, and I'd faithfully deposit any allowance, Christmas/birthday gift money and, when I got a bit older, babysitting earnings into the account. I had that same savings account for years. Then, when I was 19, I bought a car and used the majority of that account as a down payment. Once the bulk of the money was spent I just blew the rest on shopping, dining out, and the like. The paltry remainder was eaten up by the bank's fees for dipping below the minimum balance. Sadly, I didn't save seriously again until I was 36. I had a lot of credit card debt as well as rent and other bills, so saving wasn't a priority for me during those lean years. But now I'm back (for good!) to being a serious saver. I learned my financial lessons the hard way and will never again go back to being in credit card debt and having no emergency fund. That feeling of having at least some money in the bank is truly priceless. Knowing that you can cover an unexpected car repair, dental visit, whatever without busting out your credit card is amazing and really does help me sleep better at night and feel more secure. I honestly think that saving is fun! Seeing your money grow with interest is awesome!

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RICKLEE

..earned money delivering newspapers. I liked to stack the coins on the dinner table, biggest to smallest, to flaunt in front of my big sister.

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As the title would indicate, I had a savings account started by my parents early in life(8-10). As I grew older however, the money went out as quick as it came in with few exceptions. Now I am much more concerned with reducing debt and increasing my savings.

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Jude

I would guess I was around 5? I grew up on a farm, so, rather ironically, my earnings were from raising hogs.

I wish I had the magic instructions about how to save, but it seems like it is just something I've always done, always expected I'd do.

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Guest

Started babysitting as a teenager and then got a job in a pharmacy. Opened a savings account right around then and I remember "splurging" at the first opportunity and buying a friggin $50 candle/sculpture for my mom. She hated it, ha ha. Started seriously saving in college when my parents left me in charge of my own living expenses and have been a tenacious saver ever since. Though it sounds a bit OCD it is inspirign to check my account balance regularly and watch the savings grow.

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Dan

My parents started all my siblings out as savers. as a child, money that came in went into the bank--frivolous spending was frowned on. Because of that, I had a tidy balance when I was 17, allowing me to buy my first car--a Toyota 4Runner--with cash. After that hit to my savings, I kept saving my money from my jobs and rebuilding my savings. Now that I am in college, I am becoming more proactive about saving and instead of just putting money in the bank, I just opened a roth IRA.

The two biggest things that helped me to save were growing up with my parents who taught me to live below my means and avoiding all debt (credit card, car payments, student loans...etc).

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Olivia

In second grade our class went on a field trip where all of us had opportuity to open a bank account at PSFS with a dollar. Alas the bank and the low initial deposit are no more. However it was the start of a very good habit. What magic to see not only the deposits but interest written in the passbook over the years. Almost every bit of birthday or chore or odd job or Christmas money went into the account. First I saved for a bike, then a small pool, then a piano, and finally college. Between savings, scholarships, and a bunch of jobs I graduated debt free. Lesson learned. Sadly once in the work world, opportunities to spend multiplied, and I was content to have $1000 in the bank when it could have been much more. Back on the wagon again as a married person with kids, it feels like I've come home.

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Jen

I started saving when I had my first job, at age 19. (yeah, I was a slacker!!)
I had a car given to me from someone who didn't want to deal with it, and it got me and my friends around, but I knew I needed something better.
So every week, I'd get my check, and take what I thought I'd need for the week, and put the rest in a locked box in my drawer.
After a few months, I finally had enough to buy my "new" car, from someone selling one cheap at my Dad's work.
I was soooooooo proud of myself for saving all that money, and paying for it all by myself, that I kept saving, for "who knows what".
That is, till I met my husband, who was HORRIBLE with money, and we were in debt, renting, with horrible credit for the first 8 years of our marriage.
Finally, he got his s**t together, and we've started saving. (two kids and our first home later...)
Funny thing is, it never seems to get beyond about $3,000, before it's needed for something!!!

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katy

I remember having a savings account and seeing the interest stmped in my passbook. Also rolling pennies with my mother.