Gas savings can equal a nice nest egg

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- It can be tough to find enough money to save for a car, a house, or even plan for your retirement. But many folks are able to find some savings right now at the gas pumps.

The Valley of the Sun stretches far and wide, and we spend a lot of money on gasoline to get around. So it has been a huge relief to watch the price tumble by more than a dollar in the last few months.

“I'm happy as it is now,” said one man while he filled up.

“I hope the trend continues downward instead of upward,” said a woman standing in the early morning sun. “A nice raise.”

It is a nice raise.  And a study by Cardlytics shows people are spending that extra money and a little more.

“It’s really been an excellent thing for consumers to have this additional savings,” said Greg Brown of West Coast Financial Services in Mesa. “It was very unexpected.”

Brown acknowledges some people need the money to eat.  But if the gas savings is truly extra in your budget, he suggests putting it away.

“If a consumer was able to take $10 a week and invest that at eight percent a year for 20 years, they could accumulate nearly $25,000 in retirement," he said. "That can help. That's substantial.”

Here's that math again:
-$10 dollars a week in gas savings equals $520 dollars a year.
-Put into investments that average eight percent a year.
-That will yield almost $25,000 in 20 years.

And sometimes starting to save creates momentum.

“When you start seeing, ‘look at how much I've saved,’” Brown said.  “’Let's continue to do this.  Let's save more and more of our funds and build for our future.'"

Finding the right mix of stock and bond funds sounds complex but it just takes a phone call to a professional. Starting with as little as $25, you might find yourself driving into a more comfortable retirement.

“We're getting such a low return at the banks today that you've got to get your money working,” said Brown.

This example could apply to lunch out or your morning latte. It doesn't take a lot of money to start.

Click here for a list of financial companies that take as little as $25 to $100  to start your retirement account.