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updated 5/13/2005 2:29:41 PM ET 2005-05-13T18:29:41

A few tips on saving money, particularly for young adults, based on advice from financial experts:

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Set a budget
At the beginning of every month, sit down and look at how much money you'll have coming in. Subtract the amount you'll owe for bills that are due _ and make a plan for what's left over. It's a simple idea. But the trick is actually doing it, keeping track of what you spend and resisting the urge to pull out the credit or debit card when you can't afford something.

Save early, save often
Even if you're only able to put away $10 or $20 a week now, do it. By starting at a younger age, you'll reap the benefits of what Bill Slater, a vice president at MetLife, calls "the magic of compound interest." For instance, if a 25-year-old deposited $20 a week into a retirement account until age 34, that money would, thanks to compound interest, be worth more at age 65 than $20 deposited weekly at the same rate from age 35 all the way to 65.

Automatic deductions are your friend
Having money automatically deducted from your paycheck into savings and retirement accounts assures that you'll actually put money away. And experts say that, in time, you'll get used to doing without the money. Some also suggest making sure that it's not too easy to transfer money from your savings to your checking account _ or to use a debit card to tap into your savings when your willpower is low.

Think retirement now
With fewer employers offering pensions, finding alternative forms of saving is especially important. And, Slater says, opening an account to pad your pension is generally a good idea, too. Enroll in your 401(k), especially if your employer offers matching funds (what some financial experts like to call "free money"). Other options include a Roth IRA or mutual funds.

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