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Need More Money? Four Moves to Consider by Anita Srivastava

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Regardless of whatever else may await you in life, saving for the future could be one of your biggest financial challenges. That’s why it’s important to take steps now to make sure you’ll have enough money on hand for retirement, family goals or unanticipated financial emergencies.

A common question Financial Advisors hear from clients is, “How can I save more than I’m saving now?”

Fortunately, there are several ways you can accomplish that goal with a bit of professional help.

Consider the following:

Monitor expenses. Lowering your expenses by a modest amount such as 1% could allow you to boost your savings initiatives as much as a comparable increase in pay.

To gain insights into your current spending habits, consider downloading a budgeting app for your smart phone. They’re much easier to use than they used to be and make expense tracking very simple. For example, many apps allow you to record your income and spending on the go, incorporating information from various accounts, in order to have an up-to-the-minute overview of your financial standing each day. You can then look for inefficiencies--and ways to economize.

Reduce credit card expenses. On average, each US household with credit card debt owes a balance of more than $15,000.1 You can eliminate such debt faster--and start saving more--by paying more than the minimum monthly amount on your credit cards each month.

For example, assume you have a $1,000 credit card debt with a 12% interest rate. By paying $20 each month, it would take 67 months to eliminate the debt and would cost you $353.43 in interest. But by doubling your monthly payment to $40, you would be out of debt in just 27 months. Your interest costs would be less than half--$103.28. Then, when you finish paying off your balance, redirect the money you’d been spending on debt each month to a savings or investment account.

Another way to tackle debt expenses aggressively is by consolidating credit card balances to a single, lower-rate card. Comparison shop for the best rates, but beware of “teaser” rates that start low then jump higher after an initial introductory period ends.

Boost contributions. If you participate in a workplace retirement plan, consider increasing your contribution by an additional 1% or 2% of income. Even if you think that may be too much, try it out for a few months. The extra effort could make a big difference down the road: Contributing even $20 extra each week could provide you with an additional $87,493 after 30 years (before taxes), assuming 6% annual investment returns.2

Use windfalls wisely. While it may be tempting to spend a windfall--such as an inheritance or workplace bonus--on something fun, it’s probably a better idea to use the money to enhance your long-term financial standing. For example, assuming you invest a $2,000 windfall in an account earning a 6% annual rate of return, it could grow to $2,698 after 5 years, $6,620 after 20 years or $12,045 after 30 years (before taxes).2

Anita Srivastava is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Ridgewood, NJ.

Anita Srivastava is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Ridgewood, NJ. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Learn more at


1Source: NerdWallet Finance, July 2015.

2These examples are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary. Indicated returns cannot be guaranteed. They do not reflect the performance of any actual investment and do not allow for the fees and expenses incurred with investing. Calculations use monthly compounding at an annual rate of 6%, however actual investment returns may vary from year to year, which could impact projected values.

Article by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.

The author(s) are not employees of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC ("Morgan Stanley"). The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley. The information and data in the article or publication has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by Morgan Stanley with respect to the purchase or sale of any security, investment, strategy or product that may be mentioned.

Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise provided in a written agreement with Morgan Stanley. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a retirement plan or account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan or account.

Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor(s) engaged Ridgewood Moms to feature this article.

Anita Srivastava may only transact business in states where she is registered or excluded or exempted from registration Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Anita Srivastava is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

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