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Taking the Leap to Save with Ashley Jeffrey

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Ashley Jeffrey is a registered nurse, small business owner, and working mother—and she's just joined the ranks of the 26%.

The 26% of Americans that are saving at least 10% of their income, that is¹.

Jeffrey's recent attendance at the Arkansas Smart Women Smart Money conference inspired her to commit to saving 10% of her income on the spot. Previously, Jeffrey explained, saving had seemed like "a task that [she] needed to do eventually instead of a responsibility"—something that she could push off and "just start later."

"Everyone else gets their cut out of my check, why am I not securing my future?"

The Save10 message, however, made Jeffrey realize the importance of saving now. "During the talk, I realized how much we, as women, frequently take care of ourselves last [and] we really can't afford to do this when it comes to our retirement fund," Jeffrey said. "Everyone else gets their cut out of my check, why am I not securing my future?"

On the daily realities of accommodating a larger savings rate, she says that while she's had to make adjustments to her budget by downscaling activities like eating out and shopping, she much prefers the short-term growing pains of going from 10% to 12% over having to switch abruptly to saving 30% of her income later in life. "I don't want to make that decision [...] [to go] from 0% to 30%. Now is the time to save."

Beyond anything else, Jeffrey most wants others to know that "we need to pay ourselves first." She says that while she's previously cut back on saving as a cost-saving measure, the decision to stop saving was the wrong one. "I will budget or look for ways to increase my income before I stop saving again," she asserts. "I don't want to reach my time for retirement and still have to work because I can't afford to rest."

Photos by Piscean Imagery.

¹based on a 2019 Bankrate survey with a sample size of 1,000 American adults.

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