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Strategies to become a 'super saver'

A recent survey by TD Ameritrade unearthed a

A recent survey by TD Ameritrade unearthed a group of "super savers," people whose savings rate is 20 percent of income or more. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/mj0007

Few people need to be convinced about the need to save money. But actually doing it is another matter.

Last year, the personal savings rate was 7 percent of income, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. But truth is, many people are saving much less, and some put away nothing at all.

Yet, there are folks who do much better than that. A recent survey by TD Ameritrade unearthed a group of “super savers” — people whose savings rate is 20 percent of income or more.

Don’t hate. Imitate. They’ve got a strategy.

Here’s what they do and so can you.

Stash cash sooner, rather than later

Among those polled, there was a trend: piling up money early. More than half of the super savers began investing by age 30, compared to 39 percent of other participants, and three in 10 started by 25. They understand the power of compounding interest and how that helps boost savings.

Spend cautiously

These folks know when to keep their wallets in their pocket or purse. The survey found they spend less than non-super savers in nearly all categories. Where were the biggest differences? For housing they spent 14 percent of their income versus 23 percent for others who saved less. For household expenses they laid out 16 percent of income versus 21 percent.

Don’t allow stinking thinking

Money management begins in the mind. Super savers’ secret is their attitude toward money and their finances. The survey found they are way ahead of others when it comes to making wise financial decisions. Sixty five percent avoid high-interest debt, compared to 56 percent of others polled. Sixty percent stick to a budget, versus 49 percent. Fifty eight percent invest in the stock market, compared to 34 percent, and 55 percent max out on adding to their retirement savings while just 30 percent of others do.

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