Become an Expert Saver in 2020
We all know that saving is important to our financial wellness. To meet your goals—whether reducing debt, retirement planning or making a big-ticket purchase—it’s best to come up with an actionable savings plan. In fact, those with a plan are twice as likely to save successfully.
Emergency Fund First
Do you have enough set aside to cover a $1,000 unexpected bill? If not, setting up an emergency fund is your first savings step. About half of Americans do not have a $1,000 emergency fund, so you are certainly not alone.
Next Steps: Open an Easy Savings Account at your local Saratoga National Bank. Then set up automatic transfers of $20 a week from your checking account to your savings account. You’ll have more than $1,000 saved after a year, and you’ll earn interest on the funds you are setting aside. Easy money! (If you prefer to start smaller, you can do that too.)
Focus on the Future
With funds saved for the unexpected, you can focus on the bigger picture. Define your short-term and long-term goals. Do you want to save for a dream vacation or a new home? Are your goals years away, such as saving for retirement or your child’s college? How much do you need to save total to reach each of your goals?
Next Steps: With defined goals, you can hold yourself accountable (or ask a partner or family member to take on that role). Establish savings accounts with a specific purpose. For instance, start with one of our Goal Savings accounts where you can start withdrawing funds once your goal is reached. You can also auto-transfer your balance into another one of our accounts once per year.
Keep Retirement Separate
Keep in mind: You should always be saving for retirement. Even though your child’s education may seem more pressing, there are many ways to finance education. Planning for your retirement is essential for your financial well-being and it will help your entire family down the road.
Next Steps: There are separate savings vehicles for individual retirement (traditional and Roth IRAs) and employer retirement plans (401(k)s, profit-sharing, pension), and our expert Wealth Management team can help you find the right retirement path for you.
Track Your Goals and Adjust
Automating your savings is one of the easiest ways to set money aside. While that removes some of the legwork, you still need to monitor your progress.
If you find you’re not making enough headway after six months, take a step back and re-evaluate. Perhaps your original goal was too aggressive or you need to adjust your day-to-day spending. Our Money Management tool within Internet Banking can help you set a budget and see where you spend your money.
Like most healthy habits, saving takes practice. But the more you balance saving with spending, the easier it becomes. You can do this and we are here to help.
Here For You
Our local team can help guide you every step of the way. We offer a variety of savings options including CDs, Money Market accounts and retirement plans to match your particular goals. Explore our website to learn more or visit one of our offices.