How to Start Your Savings Journey
So you’ve decided that it’s time for you to get (more) serious about your finances, particularly saving. Great! This is a critical moment that happens for most working-class Americans, no matter how much money you’re making.
If you have little to no savings, you’ll want to start saving for emergencies.
If you have emergency savings, you may want to start saving for a home, retirement, or education.
There’s ALWAYS something to save for, but if you aren’t naturally “good” at savings, the idea of saving money can be daunting.
It could feel like a burden. Or like you’re giving up something concrete for something more elusive.
The truth is that we can ALL be great at savings! You have to start small, think big, and create a reasonable plan and recognize where you are in your journey.
In fact, we’ve learned that there are SEVEN key phases or steps to starting your savings journey and being successful.
7 Steps to Start Your Savings Journey
Step 1. Commit to Establishing Emergency Savings
Unexpected emergencies often sabotage our financial goals, so getting in a savings mindset and building an emergency fund is crucial. Start small and think big by setting a goal of a $500 rainy day fund. Once you’ve reached that goal, it will be easy to continue!
Step 2. Take The America Saves Pledge
Now that you’re committed to saving, it’s time to consider how you’ll achieve it. The America Saves Pledge is a tool that helps you make a simple plan to meet your savings goal while offering you long-term accountability and support along the way.
Step 3. Open Your Savings Account
If you don’t have a savings account, now’s the time! Ensure your savings account is federally insured with a reputable financial institution with no fees (or low fees).
Step 4. Set up Automatic Savings
The easiest way to save is to save automatically! Contact your employer to set up a direct deposit into your savings account each pay period or set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account at your financial institution.
Step 5. Get Serious About Reducing Your Debt
When you reduce your debt, you save on interest and fees while maintaining or improving your credit score! Create a debt reduction plan that works best for you. Utilize America Saves resources to see the different options to pay down debt.
Step 6. Get Clear On Your Finances
Create a Spending and Savings Plan that allows you to see your income, expenses, and anything leftover easily. Once you have a clear view of your finances, you can determine where to make changes and what else you should be saving for based on your financial goals.
One thing to consider when getting clear on your finances is to speak with a qualified financial professional. Since the onset of Covid-19, there are several resources available where the cost is currently waived. America Saves has teamed up with the Yellow Ribbon Network working in conjunction with AFCPE, to provide financial coaching and counseling at ZERO cost to you! Take advantage of this incredible offer while it’s available by clicking here. Be sure to include that America Saves referred you.
Step 7. Repledge for Accountability & Support
Once you’ve determined what other short-term and long-term savings goals you have, take the America Saves pledge for a new category to continue the receive tips, support, reminders, and tools to help you achieve your new savings goals.
Other Important Things To Note
Somewhere along the way, talking about your finances became taboo. However, studies have shown that people who talk about their finances with others they trust are more successful at saving. That doesn’t mean to take financial advice from everyone explicitly, but talking about your goals definitely helps.
Another exercise you can do to support your new savings journey is to create a self-tracking tool. Put your savings goal somewhere visible, where you’ll see it often. Visually seeing your goals gives you constant triggers that help you not only stay on track and but to review your progress, as well.
Speaking of putting your goals in a place you’ll see them, feel free to download and print the “7 Steps to Start Your Savings Journey” and put it in a place where you’ll see it often.
Congratulations on your new savings journey! The team here at America Saves is here to support, encourage, and help you with accountability.