A Complete Beginner's Guide to Saving Money

Saving money, or the saving habit as Napoleon Hill put it so many years ago, is the foundation of all financial success, including investing. Having money saved is what provides the means for you to take advantage of situations, whether it's going back to college, starting a new business, or buying shares of stock when the market crashes.

These saving money resources will provide a foundation and answer questions such as, "How much money should I be saving?" and "What is the difference between saving and investing?". You'll also learn the best places to save things like down payment money on a house.

Saving Money vs. Investing

Hand Placing Coin in Piggy Bank
PM Images / Iconica / Getty Images 

Did you know there is a huge difference between saving and investing? Unless you were fortunate enough to be the child of a wealthy banker or investor, it's unlikely anyone ever taught you this.  Both saving money and investing money have their place in your life, but they have very different roles.  

How you handle them can have big implications for your financial success, stress level, and how wealthy you ultimately become.  It can even mean the difference between suffering through a recession or depression with white-knuckles or sleeping soundly through the night knowing you have enough spare liquidity on hand.

Saving a Few Dollars Really Does Matter

A Woman Pulling a Dollar Bill out of a Wallet
Anfisa Kameneva / EyeEm / Getty Images 

Even if you are committed to saving money, you may find yourself falling into the trap of spending an extra $5 here, or $13 there, thinking, "It's not that much. I'll never miss it." Depending on your age, this could be a huge mistake.  

One of the cornerstones of saving money is understanding the time value of money, that is, the concept that $1 today is more valuable than $1 a year from now. This single money saving tip could help you transform your balance sheet over the next ten years as you free up cash to put into reserves. 

How Much Money You Should Be Saving

A Persons Hand Stacking Coins
JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images 

Everyone knows saving money should be a top priority and most people are smart enough to look for saving money tips, but how many people know how much money they should be saving? Most folks mistakenly believe that saving more money is better, saving less money is bad.  

While that's true in a general sense, depending upon your needs, lifestyle preferences, and income, the amount of money you need to save and have available in the event of an emergency or golden opportunity could be very different from your friends, family, and neighbors. Comparing yourself to others is often a mistake that will end up in unnecessary heartache and stress so you would be wise not to do it. 

The Key to Saving Money is to Pay Yourself First

A Man Putting a Coin Into a Piggy Bank
Dan Brownsword / Getty Images 

The single best way to begin saving money is to use a technique called pay yourself first. This technique has been proven time and time again to cause people to change their behavior.

Ways to Make Saving Money Easier

Money Stored in Various Jars
JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images 

Sometimes, saving money can be difficult. Life often throws at us unexpected events that impede our savings schedule and routine. To help those of you struggling along the path to financial freedom, "​Ways to Make Saving and Investing Easier" reveals five tips for saving cash; each designed to help make the process of saving money a little easier, so you don't have to stress out as you work toward your goal.

Ways to Generate Cash for Your Savings

A Man Pulling Money out of a Wallet
KLH49 / Getty Images 

If you want to know how to get rich, history has shown investing in good businesses is a good place to start. Unless you are good at saving money, investing in good businesses is not likely something you can do. To help you start saving money today, these four tips will give you ideas for generating cash that you can use to grow your investments, setting you on the path to financial independence and greater wealth.

Paying off Debt vs Saving Money First

A Young Woman Sitting on the Floor Surrounded by Papers
David Sacks / Getty Images 

Debts are often a big hurdle to beginning the process of saving money. If your debt is charging you 15% interest, and you don't have much cash left over after your expenses, it's easy to see why saving money can be a difficult task. One of the most popular questions is, "Should I start saving money immediately or pay down my debt first?"

How to Save the First $100,000

A Man Surrounded by Dollar Bills Raining Down
Jonathan Kitchen / Getty Images 

Billionaire investor Charlie Munger has always said that the most challenging hurdle to becoming financially independent is saving the first $100,000.  

Once you cross that threshold, you have the money necessary to get bank loans to build a business or acquire real estate or make investments in the stock market that can have a real tangible change in your net worth if things work out well.

This step-by-step guide was designed to make saving money, especially the first $100,000, easier by providing practical things you can do to achieve your goal.

Where to Save Money for a Down Payment on a House

A House Made of 100 Dollar Bills
PeopleImages / Getty Images 

Are you saving money for a down payment on a house? Do you worry about finding the right investments to keep that money safe until you are ready to make a purchase?  

You are not alone in your worries. However, "The Best Places to Invest Down Payment Money" was designed to help you minimize your stress and give you helpful tips and answers to these questions.

How Saving $19 Made Some Families $5,000,000

A Book With a Paragraph Explaining What an Ipo Is
Ken Brown / E+ / Getty Images 

Did you know that in 1919, families that got their hands on $19 by saving money were able to buy a single share of this well-known, hugely successful blue-chip stock? Today, that single share, with dividends reinvested, is worth more than $5,000,000.  

This was all possible due to the savings habit. It's important that you do not despise the day of small beginnings. No matter how small your savings account is now, with wise stewardship and disciplined cost-cutting, you can someday be incredibly wealthy. 

Guide to Investing in US Savings Bonds

An American Flag
Tetra Images / Getty Images 

US savings bonds are one of the safest places to save money if you don't need to touch it for at least one year because each bond is guaranteed to never lose money by the United States Government. 

How to Get Rich

An Older Couple Staring out at the Ocean
Tom Merton / Getty Images 

Once you've become familiar with the keys to saving money, the next step is to learn how to get rich. "How to Get Rich" is a comprehensive collection of articles, resources, and guides on investing, wealth building, saving, and money management​ were all designed to help you learn how to accomplish that.