Discussion  - 
I know the general advice that's out there is to save 10 percent of your paycheck. Most people say they can't. Has anybody every seen somebody start with a much much smaller percentage, then slowly bump it up over time to reach 10 percent? 

It's probably a lot easier to get somebody to save 2%. After 6 months, it shouldn't be too difficult to bump it up another 2. The resistance should be lower because they aren't starting something new, but slightly changing something they're already doing. Starting is usually the hard part. Plus, watching a savings account grow needs to be felt, rather than imagined, in order to work. 
Dante Johnson's profile photoFigueroa Financial's profile photoMichael Delgado's profile photoCarrie Smith Nicholson's profile photo
My experience has been that I was not able to save until I got control over my money. Once I had a plan to manage my money, savings became a natural component.

Between saving for retirement and emergencies we are hitting that 10%. But the theory did not become practice until we started budgeting and until we got rid of debt. With a plan and with increased cash flow, savings became easier.
Was the shift a drastic change in how you dealt with money all at once? If it was, how did you handle it? Habits are hard to break.

If not, how did you do it?
One step at a time. I had no clue about how to manage money. I took a class @ my church back in 2005 (Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University). Change was made one step at a time as I understood the principles taught in the class. The key one was to actually prepare and track a budget every month.

Once I saw how that helped me, it gave me fuel to implement other things like saving money and getting out of debt.
+Dante Johnson I think some people are frugal by nature. It can definitely be learned -- and I think taking small steps (like +Figueroa Financial shared) is the right way to go.  Just make one goal to save money at a time. For example, I'm going to bring my lunch to work 3 days a week.  It's a small goal that is also practical. Start small and then keep going.  There are also good apps like Mint.com to help you track your money.  Just tracking your money on a daily basis can help you save more.
I actually started saving $5 a week and now I save about 40% of my income into varies saving/investing goals. Like you mention, the point of saving is to create a habit, therefore the focus isn't on how much you save, but rather how consistent you are with doing it. Once you get into the habit of saving, and start building confidence as your account grows, you'll be able to save more as time goes on. Starting is definitely the hard part - but once you do, it's a lot easier to rapidly progress.

Thanks +Michael Delgado for the shout-out! I really appreciate it and hope my content continues to be useful and valuable :)
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