By Layden Hale
Christian Wilkins is a famously frugal Clemson University student-athlete not above bumming rides from teammates, sneaking snacks into the movies or asking for slices of lemon to make his own lemonade when dining out.
Manuel Franco is a 24-year-old Wisconsin worker whose primary goal until recently had been to get his bank account to $1,000.
Both have something in common. They each have hit jackpots – one literally. Wilkins became a first-round pro football draft pick of the Miami Dolphins on April 25; two days earlier, Franco won the $768 million Powerball drawing, the third largest in U.S. history.
But what if you are not so talented or lucky yet aspire to be comfortable - let alone a millionaire? It all begins with developing a financial plan that has savings at its core.
No one can predict the future, so you should always set aside money to cover unexpected expenses. According to a survey from CNN, 40 percent of Americans would have to borrow money to pay for an emergency over $400.
Here are five other good reasons to save:
Down payment for a house
Financial freedom (to live your life on your own terms).
Now how much of your income should you be saving?
The answer to that question, for a long time, was 10 percent. The short answer today is, “as much possible.”
Future NFL millionaire Wilkins admires former pro Ryan Broyles, who lived on $60,000 a year during his wide receiver playing days for the Detroit Lions. When Broyles three-year injury plagued career ended in 2015, he had saved enough funds that by 2018 he and his wife owned roughly 40 rental properties in Oklahoma and Texas and a property management company.
Still, there are some people who buy into the 20-50-30 model: 20 percent to savings, 50 percent for necessities like housing, food, utilities, transportation, and 30 percent for discretionary items or wants like entertainment, holiday spending and travel.
Savings plan start-ups vary. For some, it might start with a surge of cash, like an inheritance or a refund from income tax filings. For most folks, savings comes at a grinding, consistent pace. Contact Homeport at 614 221-8889 ext. 134 or visit www.homeportlearning.org to sign up for financial fitness classes or counseling. It could be the start of your jackpot.
(Homeport Senior Counseling Advisor Layden Hale, firstname.lastname@example.org, has been in financial services and counseling for over 20 years.)