If you’re ready to start saving but don’t know where to begin, TruMark Financial can help.
Step 1: Set a goal
Take a few minutes to think over your long-term and short-term savings goals. These can include saving for retirement, a dream vacation, or covering a large purchase. Make sure to assign a dollar value for each goal.
When you start saving, prioritize building an emergency fund that has three to six months’ of living expenses. Thinking of your bigger personal goals now will help keep you focused.
Step 2: Start tracking your expenses and income
Determine exactly how much money you need to get through each month. For three months, keep a paper or digital record of each of your expenses and all streams of income.
At the end of the three-month period, review your expenses and income to see how much money you really require to live on each month.
Step 3: Trim your expenses
If you find that your income exceeds your expenses by a fair amount, give yourself a high-five and skip to the next step.
If you spend more than you earn, or your numbers are too close for comfort, look for ways to trim your expenses, and save that extra cash. Start with your biggest non-fixed expense, and move from there, cutting costs wherever you can.
Step 4: Create a budget
With your newly trimmed expenses, you’re ready to create a monthly budget. Using your list of monthly expenses and income, designate an appropriate amount for each monthly expense. Be sure to include savings in your budget — as if it were actually an expense.
Step 5: Choose your savings tools
It’s time to choose a place for your savings to call home. Look for an option that offers an attractive earnings rate, like a share certificate at TruMark Financial.
Keep that emergency fund and other short-term savings in an account that allows you to easily make withdrawals, like a checking account at TruMark Financial.
Step 6: Make it automatic
You’ve got your numbers worked out, and if all goes well, your savings should start growing.
Unfortunately, though, impulses can sometimes get in the way of our best intentions, holding us back from reaching our goals. Keep this from happening to your savings by making them automatic. Ask us about setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account so you never forget to feed your savings again.
Now, go make that trip to Australia happen!