Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Operation Ducks In A Row - Savings

The excitement on the “New Year – New Me” has finally begun to lose its shine and it is now tax season. And with me being the person making progress to be the person I want to be, I’m determined to be better about this adulting thing. And in my opinion, adults have a savings. My savings has very much short lived for a variety of reasons/excuses. Short term isn’t completely terrible but the fact is that even though I have a wonderful significant other, we share portions of our life that do not include a home or bills or finances so all of my life falls on me and while my parents are always willing to help, I just can’t do that. So, I’ve punched some numbers and strategies and put into play some tips that can help build a savings when you’re terrible at saving.

*Automatic transfers – I loathe automatic payments but setting up a transfer to go into your savings account every paycheck can take some of the mental stress off. Think about this: $20 a paycheck and if you get paid twice a month, there’s $40 a month that can turn into $480 a year. The trick is to leave it there so it’s harder to spend and has more time to be there when you really need it, like a tax return. (hint hint)

*Nickname your accounts – Most banks, if not all, have an online option and if they don’t, I don’t know how you’re surviving. But think about this: we are very visual so if your bank allows you to nickname your accounts, then name it. Are you saving for vacation or emergencies or Christmas? Have a plan and having that visual will put that more into perspective when you’re tempted to transfer out of it.

*Separate savings account – banks don’t have to be the devil and one does not have to be the be-all-end-all to your finances. Think about this: If you get the option for direct deposit through your employer then consider opening a separate savings account at a completely different bank. You’ll be able to split your paycheck and build a savings because it’s out of site and out of mind, unless you stalk your check stubs. Every paycheck, take out and send $50 of your check to that out-of-the-way account then that’s $100 dollars a month and $1200 a year because it’s not something you have easy access to for that compulsive purchase.

* Cash route – I don’t carry a lot of cash on me because it’s usually gone a lot faster that I like. But I also like having a better idea of how much I can spend for lunch, coffee, etc. So if I take out $40 in cash, once it goes from 20’s to 10’s to 5’s, I will use and spend, but once I get down to 1’s, it’s change that goes into a Jar, a Ziploc bag, box, something where you can just put it in and forget that it’s there. An incognito piggy bank so-to-speak. (And hey, pennies add up so give Abe a break and pick him up off the ground)

Different banks will also have different perks depending on the accounts they offer. Maybe look at interest bearing accounts or other bank specific perks. Bank of America has Save the Change and Wells Fargo has the Save As You Go where it’s linked to your debit card purchases and a little bit will just go to your savings account anytime you use your card. Again, saving without really feeling or realizing that you are saving. So go to your bank or credit union or whomever helps you with your finances and pick their brain. Find out how they can help you save more because that is kind of their job.

Doing this has helped me save for my trip to Vegas last year, save for Christmas, and save for those times that life happens and I’ve needed to compensate for other charges that I didn’t expect or account for. My accounts are still going up and down a bit more than I’d like but each month I’m seeing progress. And progress is good. Progress is fine. Progress is my friend. 

Check out the other ducks that I'm herding into this series

Or maybe beauty is more your way - meet my new best lash friend

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