Meggie Gibbs is saving money for her first child, Ryan Lane.
February 2016: •Only half of American households have a savings plan with specific goals.
•Only 4 out of 10 American households have a spending plan that allows sufficient saving to meet their goals.
•51% of Americans don’t have a rainy day fund to pay for an unexpected expense of $1,000.
So, what’s holding you back from saving money?
America Saves Week is February 22-27, 2016. The national social media campaign encourages individuals and families to take financial action in building wealth through saving money and reducing debt.
The secret to saving money is to make savings automatic. Join the America Saves initiative and put your savings on auto-drive. Get started in three simple steps.
Step 1: Set a goal. Why are you saving? An emergency fund, a car, a down payment on a home or your retirement?
Step 2: Make a plan. How much money do you need to achieve your goal? How much can you afford to put away each month, or in how many months do you want to reach your goal? You are more likely to save money with a plan than without one.
Are you worried you won’t follow through on your plan? Make a formal commitment to save.
Put your goal and plan in writing and place it on your fridge. Set up a personal support system by sharing your goal with a close friend and ask them to hold you accountable. Use your bank’s services, like text banking and online banking, to help you track expenses and set up email alerts to remind you about your goal. Take the America Saves pledge – available at www.americasaves.org/pledge.
Step 3: Set up automatic savings. Ask your employer about automatic savings options at your job, such as split deposit, 401k retirement plans and holiday savings programs. Set up a savings account and DON’T get a debit card tied to it. Basically, put your money where you can’t spend it.
Talk to your bank about setting up automatic transfers. Even setting up transfers in small amounts adds up over time.
Look at your current expenses. Can you save money by adjusting your phone plan? Take that savings and have it automatically transferred from your checking to savings each month. The idea is to pay yourself first by putting something, anything, away.
Learn more about the America Saves initiative at www.americasaves.org. You can enter the America Saves #imsavingfor photo contest for a chance to win $500 toward your goal! Read official rules at americasaves.org.
RCB Bank also wants to help you achieve your personal financial goals. Check out our Financially Fit column that offers money-building tips and advice from RCB Bank professionals. Read it online at www.RCBbank.com/financiallyfit.
This month, take the pledge to save money.
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