Savings is a foundational piece to financial health. Research has found, unexpected expenses, such as car or home repairs, and even medical bills can become a hardship when people don’t have access to an emergency savings fund.
“When it comes to saving, the most important thing to do is to simply to start. Whether it’s a $1 a day or a few every month, it is important to have a plan. Talking to someone with experience can help you see things from a different perspective. One of my favorite conversations to have with customers is to learn what they are saving for, and help them figure out how to get there,” Brian Atkins, Chase D.C. Community Manager.
Here’s how you can build your own savings plan:
- Start Small. Starting with small goals will begin to lay the foundation for bigger ones. Once you build the habit, a $1 a day can turn into more as you begin to take notice of your spending habits and identify opportunities to minimize expenses and actively reallocate them towards your savings. For example, if you decide to cut back on eating out take that savings and automatically put it into a savings account. Chase has a free online calculator that can help you estimate your savings over time. Remember that saving is personal: it depends on your own needs, financial situation, and also might look different each month.
- Keep it Simple. When it comes to creating a budget, it’s ok to keep it simple. Dedicate a notebook or an online note in your phone to write down your monthly expenses. This will help you see how much money you have coming in vs. what’s money is going out. A great way to keep track of a budget is use a tool such as a budget worksheet, which has built-in calculations to make it easy to help you find ways to save.
- Set a Goal. What are you saving for? It could be a new phone, a car, vacation, or even long-term goal such as a home. Whatever it is, focusing on a goal can help you stay motivated to build a plan to get there, like setting up recurring savings, or considering changes to your day-to-day spending.
In addition to a fun savings goal, make sure to have a separate emergency savings goal in its own savings account. A good rule of thumb is to have at least three months of household expenses saved for an emergency, and only withdraw from this account when its absolutely necessary.
- Get Tools to Help You. Choosing an FDIC-insured bank account can offer you financial safety, easy access to your funds, and helps you avoid check-cashing fees which can add up. If you’re new to banking visit Bank On to learn how you can access a safe and affordable bank or credit union account.
Many financial institutions offer mobile banking and automated tools to support your savings goals. For example, setting automated transfers, such as Chase Auto Save, on pay day to your emergency and fun savings accounts is one easy way to save without having to think about it.
- Ask for Guidance. Engaging in conversations about money is a good way to get feedback, advice, and suggestions on your approach to savings. No matter your goal, seeking advice can help you build skills, create a plan that can be adjusted along the way, and get help and support to achieve it. A great way to start a conversation is by reviewing your budget and savings goals with an expert.
If you are ready to start a money talk, you can learn more about how Chase can help you at www.chase.com/communityteam.)