Modifying your savings strategy as your life evolves
11/12/2019, 8:30 p.m.
Make sure you’re still saving enough as your situation changes.
What did your life look like when you started saving for your goals? Since then, maybe you’ve gotten married, moved, or bought a car. All these events may change how you think about your savings.
Learn how you can modify your savings plan to fit your changing needs.
What can you save for?
Did you buy a home recently? Thinking about starting a family? This can change how you need to save. For instance, the cost of raising a child could be close to $13,000 a year, according to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report. While that’s just an estimate, if you’re planning on having children, think about how you can save ahead of time.
According to a study by Magnify Money, nearly one-third of households have $1,000 or less in savings. Setting yourself up for the future begins with asking yourself what you should be saving for outside of monthly payments, and how much you can reasonably save with each paycheck.
Start with increases and automatic transfers
Making the most of your savings strategy can be as simple as increasing the monthly amount you put toward your savings goal, as long as your adjusted budget allows for it.
There is a variety of ways you can make sure you’re doing this. Try using monthly automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. You can also set up a payroll allotment, which automatically takes money from your paycheck and drops it into a designated savings account. The idea behind using automatic transfers and payroll allotments is that what you don’t see, you’re not likely to miss. Plus, you can use the money you put in savings to cover emergencies, a home repair, school tuition, and even retirement. If you want to separate out your savings based on different needs, consider different account options.
Change your spending habits so you can save differently
If you go through a change that impacts your finances, saving isn’t the only area to shift. You can also think about your daily, monthly, and yearly expenses. Add up everything that you spend on:
• Prepared foods
• Meals out
• Entertainment, such as movie tickets
• Cable/TV/streaming services
• Gym memberships
Identifying the ways that your money is being spent is a step towards determining the areas that you can save. Prioritize the things you spend money on that you value most. Try giving up those that you feel don’t contribute that much to your quality of life, and keep the ones that do. Having a savings strategy doesn’t mean you have to give up all fun.
Remember, saving isn’t just about having a spending plan — you need to follow through. The Hands on Banking® website offers great advice and templates for people who want to start using a spending plan to keep better track of their money.