3 Ways To Stick With Your New Year’s Resolution of Saving Money
A new year is a time for hope. You make a list of all the things you want to start doing to make yourself a better person: exercise more, eat healthier, stop smoking, etc. Then by the time April rolls around, you find yourself right back to the way you were before.
Fortunately, one of the most important New Year’s Resolutions you can make is one you can actually keep in the long term: the resolution to start saving money. It may seem impossible on the surface, especially when so many “savings tips” are things like “give up avocado toast.” But with a bit of guidance, the average working adult can build up a bit of savings. Here are three practical ways you can start saving money.
A Little At A Time
When thinking about saving money, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Financial experts tell you that by the time you’re 30, you should have an amount in savings that’s at least equal to your annual salary. By 40, you should have three times that much in savings. You’re already so far behind schedule! Where do you even start?
First of all, keep in mind that almost everyone is “behind schedule.” More than half the population has less than three months’ worth of savings, and about a quarter have no savings at all.
Second, remember that starting small is better than not starting at all. And there are features you can activate through your credit union that make saving money automatic, like Honor’s It’s Your Change feature.
With “It’s Your Change,” every time you use your debit card, the amount you spend gets rounded up to the nearest dollar.
Here’s how it works:
- If your groceries cost $34.73, and you pay with your Honor debit card, $35 will be deducted from your account.
- The extra 27 cents is then automatically deposited into a savings account you chose when you setup It’s Your Change.
It’s such a small amount that you’ll barely be conscious of it as it’s happening. But over time, that amount will add up, and start earning interest.
Make It A Priority!
Automatic savings are great, but what if you want to make a conscious effort to put away a little more? You have to make it a priority. Most people, when they get their paycheck, take care of their bills and other expenses first and say, “If there’s any left over, I’ll put it into savings.” Then there never seems to be anything left over. That’s because your expenses tend to expand to fit your income. If you have the money, you’ll end up spending it.
The key is, whenever you receive money, whether it’s a paycheck, a gift, a windfall, etc., put some into savings first before taking care of anything else. Even if it’s just a few bucks, get in the habit of saving. By saving $10 this month, when you’re a bit strapped, it becomes easier to save $100 next month when you have a little extra.
Once you’ve taken care of your savings, your next priority should be your debts: credit cards, student loans, mortgage, etc. The longer those take to pay off, the more you’ll end up spending in interest. Get them settled and out of your hair as quickly as possible.
After your debts, take care of your bills, groceries, and other monthly expenses. Then whatever’s left over after that, you can spend on non-essentials for yourself and your family.
Choose The Right Account
Once you’ve made the decision to save, the question is, where do you put the money? Do you put it in a jar or under the mattress? You could, but then it won’t earn interest over time. When you get a little money saved up, it’s tempting to start dipping into it for things you want or things you need. Keeping your savings separate helps reduce that temptation. It allows you to distinguish that this is the account you deposit into, not the one you withdraw from.
So what kind of account should you open?
Your first thought might be a savings account. It’s right there in the name, after all. But to help grow your savings, you’d be better off with a money market account. There are two basic types: Surge and Momentum.
High Yield Money Market Accounts
With a Surge Money Market, even if you have just $1 in the account, you can start to earn interest. And unlike a lot of other accounts, there’s no minimum balance fee. This makes it ideal for individuals and families who are just starting to save.
A Momentum Money Market account is more ideal for people who have more money to save and already have a bit of a balance built up. With a Momentum account, you don’t start earning interest unless you have at least a $5,000 balance.
Click here to compare the two money market accounts.
Just Get Started
With these few simple tips and tools, saving money doesn’t have to seem like such a daunting proposition. In fact, it can end up being the one New Year’s Resolution this year that you actually stick to.
The best thing you can do is just get started! Contact us today, and let us get you on the path to saving money!
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