CHICAGO (WLS) --As we near the end of the year, it's a perfect time to start saving money.
Financial planner Tammy Wener visited the ABC7 studio to talk about the upcoming Chicago Financial Planning Day on Saturday at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. The event runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event will also feature a series of free classroom-style workshop presentations addressing key financial planning topics, including: strategies for financial success, debt management, investing, Medicare, the financial planning process, retirement planning, and budgeting.
Walk-ins are welcome, but admission will be granted first to those who have registered online at http://financialplanningdays.org/event/chicago-financial-planning-day.
For more information, visit: www.financialplanningdays.org.
Large crowds are expected. Early registration is recommended.
Chicago Financial Planning Day is organized by the City of Chicago in partnership with FPA Illinois and is part of Financial Planning Days - a first-of-its-kind national initiative to provide free financial education and programming to people across the country.
One of the biggest problems is that people don't start saving soon enough, experts say.
For those who can't make it on Saturday, Wener had some tips.
S - Schedule a time to sit down and figure out what you own, who and what you owe, what you make, and what you spend. Then group your spending by fixed expenses (typically housing and housing related, food, medical, and transportation) and discretionary expenses (just about everything else).
T - Trade spending for saving. Identify discretionary expenses that can be reduced or eliminated and add those dollars to savings. Document your savings goal.
A - Automate, automate, automate. Research shows that if you automate your savings, you are more likely to continue saving, and as a result, will save more in the long run. Make savings a habit.
R - Review regularly, at least once a year. How are you doing against your goal to start or increase savings? Has your spending stayed the same? Increased? Decreased? Do you know why?
T - Take full advantage of your employer provided retirement plan matching program (for those that have them). Do what you can to obtain the maximum match. Not doing so is literally leaving free money on the table.