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How to live without financial regret | Money Smart

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll financially on many Americans, so for this week's "Money Smart," a financial expert spoke about how to start saving.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on many Americans, and as a result, many have started to reevaluate how much money they have stored away for emergencies.

For this week's "Money Smart," FOX43's Chelsea Koerbler spoke with Greg McBride from Bankrate.com about what Americans regret the most about how they've dealt with their money, and how to start saving to be better prepared for any financial emergency.

A recent Bankrate survey found that in the wake of COVID-19, many Americans wish they had saved more. According to McBride, to get financially on track with savings, there are three keys step that must be taken.

First, pay yourself first.

“Warren Buffet has famously said to invest or save first and live off of what’s left over and that’s what’s really the essence of paying yourself first," he said.

Second, make saving a habit.

“Successful saving is all about the habit," he said. “And the best way to establish that habit is automating it. Set up a direct deposit from your paycheck into a dedicated savings account. You’re going to save for emergencies the same way you save for retirement – a payroll deduction."

Third, make it difficult to dip into your savings account.

"Some banks will allow you to name sub accounts or put a purpose on various sub accounts so that you can segregate out savings for different purposes," McBride explained. "It really makes you think long and hard before you dip into it."

The study also found that Americans are learning from their past money mistakes. Many of them say their plan is to start to save more for emergencies.

McBride also wants viewers to know that it's never too late to start saving.

"There are so many competing priorities for our paychecks, if you wait until the end of the month until everything is paid off and then try to save what’s left over, too often there’s nothing left over," he said. "Even when there is, there’s no consistency to that. So the key to successful saving is to flip that equation around, pay yourself first, accomplish the saving first. Live on what’s left.” 

To hear more of what McBride had to say, check out the clip above.

Download the FOX43 app here.

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