America Saves Week is a national effort to set a savings goal, make a savings plan, and save automatically. Last week, Meriwest joined forces with this campaign in order to raise awareness about the importance of saving money by sharing informative tips and financial articles with our members and community via our social media channels.
Thousands of participants were encouraged to take the time to start or grow their savings. The theme for this year’s America Saves Week was simple: Save Automatically, and each day last week (Feb 22-26) we shared a tip on how to do so!
Sometimes, building a healthy cushion of savings can seem like a daunting task. We all know how easy it is to make a late credit card payment, or to end up spending all of your paycheck without remembering to save part of it. One easy way to get started on saving is to automate your savings. Having technology work to save money for you takes much of the effort out of the equation, saves time, and makes it easier for you to achieve your goals.
Try these three simple steps to help yourself save automatically – and successfully (from by Camilla Cheung, Wise Bread):
1. Automate Retirement Contributions
If your employer matches retirement contributions to your 401K or retirement plan, be sure to take advantage of the free money! Sign up for retirement contributions to be automatically taken out of your paycheck. This saves you money in several ways. First, it contributes money before you even see your paycheck and get an opportunity to spend that money; and second, it saves you money on taxes as it is withdrawn from your pre-tax income.
Even if you don’t have a retirement plan with your employer, you can still schedule your account to contribute automatically to your own retirement plan. Scheduling your contribution a day or two after you receive your paycheck ensures that saving for retirement is a priority.
2. Transfer Money to Savings Accounts
To prioritize savings, schedule an automatic transfer of a certain amount of your monthly income into a savings account. Your savings will benefit from being set aside from your regular spending, as well as benefitting from a higher dividend rate. Eventually, even just a small amount squirreled aside every month can translate into a healthy buffer of savings to hold you over on a rainy day.
3. Pay Bills Automatically
Avoid late fees by paying your bills automatically. Some bills can be put on your credit card, whereas others can be set up to be paid directly from your bank account.
It’s also a good idea to set up your credit card bill to be directly paid from your bank account. That way, you avoid late fees as well as costly interest on overdue amounts. Be sure, however, that you have enough money in your account to avoid overdrawing your account and incurring additional fees.
By setting your finances to automatically save for you, you’ll quickly be on your way to saving both time and money!