People talk a lot about saving, but it can be a challenge. There are many demands on our time and money. Increases in gas and food prices do not help, either. For these reasons, saving money can get pushed off. Here’s the thing about saving: it’s more about being prepared to achieve your goals than anything else. And how you save can help accomplish your goals faster.
Small Steps Make Great Strides
Goals look different for everyone. Some are specific while others are still coming together. Both are okay. Some people may be saving for a house, a vacation, or starting an emergency fund. For others, a goal might be to start saving and make a specific goal at a later date.
No matter what goal-setting stage you are in, the act of making a small and achievable goal is important. It helps to provide direction and gives you control over your decision.
Saving in small and consistent ways can help you get where you need to be. And how you save matters more than you think.
How should you decide? A good place to start is to think about the general timing of your goals.
#1: Ask yourself these three questions:
- Is my goal specific or do I have a general timeframe to set a goal?
- Is my goal near-term or longer-term?
- Is there any chance I will need access to this money?
#2: Match your goal with what you need:
At credit unions and banks, there are different types of savings accounts—all with different ways of helping you save. At Civic, we have created a number of ways to help, no matter what stage you are in.
Starting to save now: If you are ready to start saving a little bit each month, this is a good place to begin. With a basic account, such as the Civic Select Savings Account, you will be able to open an account with as little as $1 and earn high monthly dividends on your savings deposits. This savings option has no withdrawal fees or transfer limits, so you can access your money anytime based on your needs. Tip: Automate your savings – you can change your settings at any time.
Saving and spending at the same time: If you need to do both, the Civic Money Market Account gives you flexible access to your money with more earning power. For most of us, access to our money is important. Unlike some money market accounts, this Civic account does not have any restrictions on getting your money out if you need it. It gives you the best of both worlds – saving with competitive dividends and access. Given the flexibility of this savings account, it has a higher minimum opening balance of $500.
Growing and saving for use later: A Civic Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a fixed deposit that you make for a set period of time. This account is a good option if you already have some savings that you won’t need for a while. With a CD, you chose the time period which is typically between two and five years. Because of the long duration, the CD gives you a higher dividend. Note: There are early withdrawal penalties with this account, so be sure you will not need this money. When working with CDs, many people take a layered approach and have a few CDs going at one time. And finally, dividends can be reinvested or paid out.
#3: Use digital features to help make it easy:
Credit unions and banks offer a range of resources that can help accelerate and track your progress. At Civic, we have ways to:
- Automated options
- Set basic goals and track them
- Earn dividends on your balance
From mobile apps to goal setting tools, there are a range of digital resources available to you. To keep it all manageable, we suggest you pick one or two to start. Once you begin, it will be easy to automate the savings process, earn dividends, and track your progress.
While saving can be a challenge, these strategies can help you kick-start your goals into high gear.
This year, get prepared to achieve your goals.
Disclaimer: You + Money blog posts are provided for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of a financial, legal or accounting advisor.