So You Don't Have To Think About It
We are often busy with our daily lives, and we can forget about saving until we need it. We want our money to work for us without ever thinking about it. So let’s look at these four steps to help you get started and hopefully make savings a habit and not a chore.
- Get to know your budget
Do you know where your money is going? If you don’t have a clear picture of your spending, it’s time to look at your budget. First, review your past month or year purchases to see precisely how much you’re spending in each category like gas, groceries, travel, dining, entertainment, utilities, rent, and more? This will give you an idea of how much you’re spending and perhaps cut back on products or services you don’t need as much.
- Commit to paying yourself first
Now that you have an idea of where your money is going pay yourself first; when you pay yourself first, you put aside money into your savings, and you don’t touch it unless it’s an emergency. Then you cover your typical expenses with the money that’s left. It may seem counterintuitive to pay yourself first before worrying about necessary living expenses, but it’s a legitimate way to learn how to save money.
- Save the perfect amount automatically
Committing to paying yourself first before covering other expenses is a great way to save money. But how do you know the amount of money you should be saving? Budgeting apps can help take the guesswork out of your savings. Now it’s time to choose the proper savings account or certificate of deposit. The best savings accounts make it easy to save money over time because they earn compound interest or interest earned on interest. For example, $1,000 in savings at a 1% interest rate will net you $1,010 at the end of the first year. If the interest stays the same and you don’t deposit or withdraw any money, you’ll end up with $1,020.10 the second year. So you’d get another $10 and an additional 10 cents because of the interest you earned the first year. Opening a certificate of deposit is another option if you want to leave money and not touch it for some time. Usually, the longer the certificate, the higher the interest. Or, consider a high-yield savings account that earns 25x more than Hawaii’s banks*. Do your research and find one that fits you!
- Set up automatic transfers
If you have specific saving goals in mind, consider setting up direct deposits or recurring transfers from your paycheck to your savings account. For example, you may be able to split your paycheck into additional payments so a certain amount can go into your savings account. Setting up automatic transfers can help you build your savings consistently whenever you receive your paycheck. Or, consider scheduling transfers between your checking and savings account through online or mobile banking. You don’t have to think about it because it does it automatically.
If you always make saving a priority, it’s more likely to become a habit. Once something becomes a habit, you barely have to think about it.
- Get to know your budget
*Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) accurate as of 2/1/2021. Comparing UHFCU’s Warrior Savings rate with Personal Savings account rates at Hawaii’s four largest banks with $500 balance. $500 minimum balance to open. Minimum and maximum balance requirements apply to daily balance. Dividends compounded and credited monthly. One free withdrawal per calendar quarter. A withdrawal fee may apply thereafter. The interest rate and APY are subject to change. Other terms and conditions apply. Fees could reduce earnings on account.