By: Value News | Category: Other | Issue: January 2014
Make saving fun. Pictured: Jill Dail, of Collinsville, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Budgeting – a scary word that stirs up anxiety, fear and possibly failure. Each year, I create an extensive spreadsheet to track my spending habits, telling myself this is the year I will save more money. I add formulas and worksheets so I can enter data easily and see exactly where my money is spent. I also use online tools to track my expenses. I categorize, set budgets, download apps and set up text alerts to inform me when I go over budget. This is all well and good until life in the New Year catches steam and my spreadsheet becomes a painstaking chore by March and the whole budget abandoned by April.
“Motivation to keep saving is all about the end goal,” says Jill Dail, RCB Bank employee and avid Disney World vacationer. “If you keep in mind where your money is going (that you’re saving) and how much fun you’ll have when you get to spend it, it will be worth keeping up with the savings.”
Dail shares her savings strategy that she and her husband use to plan for their annual trip to the Magic Kingdom.
Successful savings starts with a clear goal. A trip, a car, retirement or an emergency fund; what’s your purpose for saving? Now:
Write it down. “Physically writing down your goal creates an affirmation in your mind that you can continue to save money and will be able to reach your goal,” Dail says.
Do a little research. What are the costs associated with your goal? For Dail’s Disney trip, she gathers prices for plane tickets, park fees, hotel and food. “Once I realize how much I will need, I divide it by 12 months to see what my average monthly savings should be to obtain that goal,” she says.
Plan your savings strategy. How do you plan to save? Dail encourages you to think of ways to set your savings on auto drive. Many banks offer online banking services that allow you to schedule auto-debits and transfer money between accounts, ridding yourself of the worry that you’ll forget to transfer the money or spend it before you save. “We also set up a separate checking account that earns interest each month based on our balance; we’re making money by saving money,” Dail says.
Create a financial checklist to record your progress and stay motivated. It can be as simple as a Word document. List your starting balance. Add in your contributions each month and subtract your expenses. “If I know I’m going to make a large purchase in the future, I use this plan,” Dail says. “Works every time and allows me to be financially in control of those big ticket items. By the time our trip rolls around, I have plenty of money to enjoy it without feeling a pinch on my wallet.”
This year, start saving with a purpose and gain financial control of your money. You can download Jill Dail’s Financial Checklist at our Newsroom. Go to www.RCBbank.com and select Newsroom for this and many other financial articles.
For information on RCB Bank’s rewards checking and savings accounts call 855-BANK-RCB.
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