(3 Minute Read) – Saving for a car, college, a home, or retirement takes time and patience, but putting your savings on autopilot is one of the easiest and effective ways to save. As we celebrate the 15th annual America Saves Week, Unitus Community Credit Union is one of 2,300 organizations encouraging you to set savings goals and create a plan to achieve them.
Each day this week, we will share some tips to help you develop a plan to save up for whichever financial goal is next. Whether it’s an emergency fund, retirement, reducing debt, or saving as a family, your financial future can get the jump start it needs during America Saves Week.
The easiest way to save is automatically. Setting funds aside before you have access to them will help build up savings in no time. This “set-it-and-forget-it” strategy sends money directly into a savings account where you can save for any goal you have. “Even saving a small amount in regular intervals can quickly add up to increased savings. You can reach a $1,300 savings goal in a year by putting away $50 from your biweekly paycheck,” explains Berenice Garcia Hernandez, Financial Education Specialist at Unitus Community Credit Union.
What’s the Best Way to Save Automatically?
All you need is a process in place to save at regular intervals, whether that’s monthly, weekly, or daily.
If you want to save automatically, try out one of these three strategies:
- Split to Save. Instruct your employer to direct a certain amount from your paycheck each pay period and transfer it to a retirement or savings account (or both). Traditionally, you can set this up using your employer’s direct deposit, ask your HR representative for more details and set this up today.
- Auto-Transfer. Every payday, have Unitus transfer a fixed amount from your checking account to a savings or investment account. You can set this up in digital or mobile banking, or our in-person or virtual branch staff can walk you through it.
- Scheduled Transfer. Choose a day of the month or a regular interval, such as every 2 weeks, to transfer a set amount from your checking account to a savings account. This method works well for people with pay that varies, such as freelancers and those working in the gig-economy. Consider picking a lower dollar amount or a time of the month when many other automatic payments aren’t happening. We can help walk you through this process!
If you can’t set up a direct deposit or transfer because you’re paid by a physical check or in cash, you can still make saving a consistent habit!
- Save your loose change. Every day, put all of the loose change from your pocket or purse into a jar, and don’t spend it. If that jar starts to look tempting, come on in to cash and deposit into a savings account with low to no fees. However, if you’ve got a big jar: there’s no harm in watching your automatic savings pile up—literally!
Why Automatic Savings Works
Over time, these automatic deposits add up. For example, $50 a month accumulates to $600 a year and $3,000 after five years, plus interest that has compounded. Soon you will be able to cover many unexpected expenses without putting them on your credit card or taking out a high-cost loan.
Don’t Have Enough Money to Save?
If you’re still in the stage of your savings journey where you’re reducing debt (which is saving!), then visit our resources to help you pay down debt. Remember, even while you’re actively reducing debt, everyone has the ability to start to save, even if it’s a small amount. America Saves Week is all about “Starting Small, Thinking Big.” You can start with only a small amount, and you can save daily, weekly, or monthly. Over time, your deposits will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future.
Ready To Get Started?
You can set savings goals within digital and mobile banking. You can also set up a budget to help you stay on track. Unitus members also have 24/7 access to free credit monitoring. Simply click on “more” within digital or mobile banking and opt-in to “My Credit Score.”
Tomorrow, we’re focusing on saving for the unexpected as our series for America Saves Week continues. Be sure to check back every day this week for more tips to help you save so you can continue your journey to financial freedom.