From The Clark Howard Show

Half of all people age 34 or younger have zero in savings

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling reports that half of all people up to age 34 have absolutely zero savings. They can not lay their hands on a single penny they’ve stashed away!

There are a million reasons not to save. In some cases, unique circumstances actually make it so that you truly can’t save. But that’s unusual. Most young people just miss out on learning important lessons about saving because their parents haven’t set the best example.

Perhaps it’s also harder for those under 40 to save money today because this is the first generation that has had to adapt to money being plastic.

Some 15 years ago, when you wanted to buy something, you looked in your wallet or purse. Either you had the cash and made the purchase or you didn’t and you walked out of the store. Your spending was controlled by your absolute supply of money.

But today, so many young people have never had to live based on a finite supply of money. It seems as if there’s always the unlimited possibilities of credit lines and in-store financing.

Just look at the pitches that retailers get about why they should take credit cards. The big rationale is that people will spend more if they use plastic. That’s just human nature.

So half the battle is unlearning what you’re already learned about spending and saving. The best way to do that is to set up automatic withdrawals to a separate savings account when you get paid every week. Making it a habit that you don’t have to think about is the key.

Or maybe you need to go Neanderthal and only buy things when you have the actual cash. Remember, it’s often the small expenses that eat you up because you don’t feel them accumulating. Try going cash-only for your daily pocket money.