A good start is to get a savings account at a bank that will automatically make periodic deductions for you. I have done this through ING Direct, but there are other online banks that offer this. You tell them how often and how much to deduct, and that way it is done without you having to think about it. This way you do not rationalize that you need to spend that money on something.
The best rule of thumb is to pay yourself first, and 10% of your take-home earnings is considered to be the sweet spot. If you can save more, that's even better, but having it done automatically for you will make it happen easier if you don't have the discipline required to do it yourself.
The best way (witch I've read in a book) is to do so:
put aside 10% of your monthly income for paying debts.
put aside other 10 percent for people that are poorer then you are (like homeless people).
put aside 10 percent more for building a capital to be used as an investment (in a business or products... yes, buying a new TV with this money is o.k, that's an investment to).
You may spend the other 70% on whatever you like.
I have tried this method and it gives good results. It may be difficult at first getting used to putting aside 30% of your income and only using the other 70 percent. Nothing good comes easy in life.
Just give it a try and tell me what you think.
I have a different opinion on investing than boutlife. An investment should either bring in an income or appreciate in value. Unless you are charging admission to watch your TV, it is not an investment (see http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/investment.asp ). The best way I've found to learn about saving is from those that have successfully done so for the majority of their life. Thomas J. Stanley is an author that has done a lot of credible research on the topic. Dave Ramsey and David Bach are also very good sources that explain reasonable ways to save in a way that doesn't put you to sleep. I hope this was helpful.
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