If you have a savings account or are thinking about opening one, it’s apparent that one of your biggest priorities is already saving money. And that means you’re looking for the best ways to keep that money coming in and watching your savings grow.
Whether you’re saving for something big like a car or down payment for a house, or you’re just securing your resources in the event you need extra cash, follow these tips for the best ways to grow your savings account, and ultimately, help you financially in the future.
1. Portion your paycheck.
For each paycheck you receive, allot a certain amount of it specifically for your savings account. And adding it to your savings account right away ensures tha
t you’ll get in the full amount you set aside.
“Paying yourself first clears the biggest hurdle for saving, which is simply not being in the habit of saving,” said Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate. "It takes care of saving money before you have a chance to spend it.”
If you’re having troubling remembering to put the money in, or you’re fighting willpower to keep it all in your checking account, you can schedule automatic payments to go into your savings account.
2. Try not to transfer. It’s a good idea to keep your savings account off limits, even to yourself. Tell yourself if you really want that new phone or motorcycle, your savings account is unattainable. One way to keep from transferring is to label your accounts.
"Labeling the various accounts with a specific name that reminds the account holder of what they are saving for can help deter them from withdrawing money from that account and subsequently spending it," says Diane Morais, deposits and product integration executive at a financial institution in Charlotte, NC.
3. Take advantage of technology. It can be expensive to hire a personal financial adviser — so just download one instead. Nowadays, there are lots of apps to help you save, one of them being SavedPlus. This free app allows you to pick a savings amount that automatically transfers to your account once you make a purchase. For example, say you set your savings to 10 percent. When you purchase $100 worth of groceries or clothing or whatever else, 10 percent of your money will automatically transfer from your checking account to your savings. Also try account alerts, which sends messages to your phone letting you know how much is in your savings at the end of each month. Also, if the balance goes below a certain amount, this system will warn you.
4. Watch for fees. When opening your account, be sure to ask questions and find out if there are any fees being deducted each month or year, or if there is a minimum-balance fee.
"You need to watch for fees,” warns Bill Pratt, a financial instructor at East Carolina University and the author of The Graduate's Guide to Life and Money. “[Some institutions] are starting to charge more fees for moving your money around …, and some accounts charge a fee if you don't maintain a certain balance.”
5. Discipline yourself. The ultimate way to keep your money in your savings account growing is not to touch it unless needed or using it for something you’ve saved for. Add to it when you can, and soon enough, you’ll see your dollars multiplying, allowing you to be able to afford what you’re wishing.
"You really have to know yourself and discipline yourself if you're going to be an effective saver," says McBride.
Stop by today and let us help you get started on the road to savings.