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Marino on Money: March 31

READ MORE: Marino on Money: March 31

Tuesday we talked about your budget and three steps to getting money saved. For some of you, though, you're not ready for that. You've got to play Sherlock Holmes and find money you didn't know you had. Today I'm going to show you how to create savings to get money saved.

1) *Write down your goals*. Sound familiar? This is the same step we discussed yesterday. Writing down what you want is the only way to get clear about what you _don't want_: a budget so tight you can't save. Once you know what you want your brain starts working on solutions, maybe I don't need satellite radio. Maybe I could cut out the drive thru fast food twice a week. I should call my agent to check that my home and auto insurance prices are competitive. You get the picture.

2) *Get a debt strategy*. This is a big one. Companies have strategies to pay off debt. Consumers don't, and they should. Here's the smart way to attack debt: Take a look at the interest rates you're paying and start paying on the smallest balances and highest rates. Put every dollar toward that debt and pay minimum payments to the rest!

3) Once you've freed up money to save by taking care of debt, have it automatically removed from your bank account and put into a new *emergency savings account*. Make this account hard to reach! Any account with ATM access is here today, someone else's money tomorrow.
Don't hold extra dollars "just in case." You'll "just in case" yourself completely out of money if it's kept in your wallet.

My clients with great savings don't have a special "savings" gene. They use systems that work to get ahead. Once you're on the path to financial security it becomes a game. Grab some paper and start writing down your plan of attack.

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