Three Simple Steps to Kick-start Savings at Any Age

Financially Fit is a column published by RCB Bank to help you gain knowledge on all things financial. Fitness guides – RCB Bank professionals in the field – offer ideas to help you strengthen your money sense, customize savings training, and provide qui

By: By Terry Lockhart, Sr. Vice President, Loan Offic | Category: Financial Services | Issue: September 2015

Saving money starts with a plan. Ray Simmons with daughter Kaitlyn.

Saving money starts with a plan. Ray Simmons with daughter Kaitlyn.

One summer when I was young, I wanted to buy a four wheeler. My parents told me if I could save $500, they would pay the difference. I mowed yards and hauled hay bales all summer until I reached my goal. I loved that four wheeler, and probably more so because I had to work hard to get it.

As adults, with kids, jobs and responsibilities, life gets hectic and it is easy to forget to set money aside. In today’s culture, the idea of saving money first before buying something is a good principal, but not a normal household practice. It’s not uncommon for people to get what they want now and then pay for it later. The problem is this can lead to serious financial issues like credit card debt, unpaid bills or low credit scores.

Saving is one activity you can guarantee will benefit you and your family – there is no negative effect. Here are three steps to help your savings flourish.
•Have a plan. Saving money starts with a plan. What are you saving for? An emergency? A vacation? Your child’s college? How much money do you need or want in your savings? What’s your strategy for setting money aside? If you don’t have a plan, you might be inclined to spend your money on things you don’t really need. There is no set amount that you need to save. Save what you are comfortable with.

•Find extra cash for your savings. If you aren’t quite sure where to find extra cash, look at your expenses. Are you going out to eat several times a week, or do you like your morning cup of java from your favorite shop? If so, cut back. Take your lunch to work and put the money you save into your savings account. Sell unused items around your house in a garage sale. Every little bit adds up. Saving $5 a week for one year is $260 toward your savings goal.

•Stick to the plan. Once you have your savings plan, commit to it. Like anything in life, to accomplish a goal, you have to be disciplined. It may seem hard at times, but the reward is having the money there when you need it. If you’re afraid you may not stick to the plan, put your savings on autopilot. I set a certain amount to be automatically withdrawn from my paycheck each month and put it into a savings account. This way I’m not tempted to spend it on something that I’m not planning or saving for.

There is no wrong way to save money; everyone’s plans are different. The goal is to start saving. Whether it is $10 a month or $1,000, commit to your plan, be consistent and only use your savings for emergency situations or something you’ve planned and saved for. The payoff is well worth it.

We are happy to answer any questions you might have about savings accounts, even if you are not an RCB Bank customer. Call us at 855-BANK-RCB or visit your local RCB Bank location.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of Terry Lockhart and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender.  RCB Bank NMLS #798151. Terry Lockhart MLO#704014. Member FDIC.

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