5 Important Habits of Super Savers

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Want to become a rock star saver? Here's what you may want to do.

Becoming a strong saver often means training yourself to make smart financial decisions year-round. In a recent survey by Principal, "super saver" respondents were asked to identify some of the habits that make them so good at saving money. In this survey, a super saver is defined as someone who saves 15% or more of their income for retirement, or who contributes 90% or more of the maximum annual limit to an employer retirement plan.

Here are some notable habits to mimic if you want to become an all-star saver yourself.

85% pay their bills on time

Your payment history is the most important factor in calculating your credit score, so being on time with your bills is crucial. The higher your credit score is, the easier and more affordable it is to borrow money in just about any way. That could mean snagging a lower interest rate on a mortgage, or qualifying for an affordable auto loan. And borrowing affordably generally means you have more money left over to save.

73% pay their credit cards in full

Paying off your credit cards in full every month means not carrying a balance. And that, in turn, means not racking up costly interest charges. By not spending money on interest, you can stick more in the bank. Plus, too high a credit card balance can lower your credit score, another reason to pay off those cards in full all the time.

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49% don't use credit cards out of necessity

Some people use credit cards when they incur expenses their paychecks can't cover. But that's a good way to land in debt. A better bet is to use credit cards for the convenience they offer, and for the opportunity to rack up cash back and other rewards for planned purchases. This isn't to say that you won't occasionally run into a jam and need to fall back on a credit card. But for the most part, try to plan out your expenses so you don't need to rely on credit cards to keep up with your living costs.

31% spend time each month boosting their financial knowledge

Reading up on personal finance may not be the most thrilling way to spend an afternoon. But the more of an effort you make to increase your financial knowledge, the better positioned you'll be to make smart choices that help you spend less and save more. If there's a specific area of personal finance you lack knowledge in, do some research. For example, you may not know much about how to invest, in which case, check out a beginner's guide to brokerages.

21% have a budget they follow each month

Sticking to a budget is a great way to avoid overspending. Ideally, your budget should account for not just your recurring monthly expenses, but also for the one-off expenses you face during the year, like annual insurance premiums. If you're new to budgeting, there are budgeting apps you can use to get the process started and get a better handle on your expenses.

Saving money isn't just about putting more dollars in the bank. It's also about maintaining solid habits throughout the year. If your goal is to grow your savings, it pays to adopt these habits as soon as you can. They could be your ticket to financial security.

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