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Save More, Rich or Poor

It doesn't matter how much money you make. Building up savings is a problem for everyone.

In survey results released today, HSBC Bank (NYSE: HBC  ) showed that even people with big paychecks have significant challenges putting aside some of their money. The survey split up participants by household income and then solicited responses about savings behavior.

Can't make ends meet
Among families making between $50,000 and $100,000 per year, about half said that they save on a consistent basis. And although you might expect people with higher income to be better about putting aside savings, the survey revealed no better results among families earning between $200,000 and $250,000.

Meanwhile, people in different income groups cite different reasons to justify their lack of saving. While half of those earning more than $250,000 don't want to give up their "spending money," nearly 10% say they don't make enough to cover their regular expenses, let alone have extra money left over to save. Among families with incomes between $100,000 and $250,000, over a quarter said they can't overcome unexpected expenses that always seem to pop up.

Finding a silver lining
It would be easy to get discouraged about these results. After all, if people who make more than you do can't manage to build their savings, it's hard to imagine that you can do better with less.

But the good news is that many people who have lower incomes find ways to build their savings. Indeed, people of all income levels manage to save. It all comes down to spending less than you make. And as you can see on our Living Below Your Means discussion board, it doesn't matter whether you make $20,000 or $200,000 -- most people can make a conscious choice to save some of what they earn.

Making that conscious choice is exactly what Motley Fool Green Light is all about. Our personal finance newsletter isn't just for millionaires or rich executives; you'll get plenty of helpful savings tips that you can use no matter how much (or how little) you make. If you're facing a savings hurdle, try out Motley Fool Green Light with a free 30-day trial membership. It may be all you need to get over the hurdle and start building your savings. 

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You'll also find plenty of useful information in our Savings Center, including ideas for where to stash your short-term cash, how much to save, and what types of accounts can help you make the most of your savings.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has saved since he was 5. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. You don't have to be rich to benefit from the Fool's disclosure policy.


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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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