When it comes to savings, studies show that once we start setting money aside, chances are we’ll leave it there. The hard part is getting started. So how can we get ourselves to save in the first place? Automate! By having money set aside automatically, we eliminate having to make the “choice” to save it. We don’t see it. We don’t touch it. We don’t even have to think about it. It’s as if our money saves itself. Here are six easy ways to make your savings an automatic success:
1. Sign Up for Your Company’s Retirement Plan
If your company offers a 401(k) or 403(b), sign up! These are some of the best automatic saving options. Not only do these plans put money you earn into a retirement account before you have the chance to spend it, but most employers offer a contribution match. That means that for every dollar you contribute (up to a certain amount), your employer will deposit an equal amount into your account. That’s essentially free money, and it’s one of the biggest benefits you can get at a job. Take advantage of it. For more easy ways to save for retirement, sign up for a no-obligation consultation with a Financial Consultant at Webster Investment Services.
2. Split Your Direct Deposit
If you have direct deposit, most employers will allow you to split your check between multiple accounts -- so, instead of depositing all of your money into your checking account, you can set some to automatically go into savings.
3. Set Up a Regular Deposit to Savings
Even if you don’t have direct deposit, many banks will allow you to set up automatic deductions. For example, if you have checking account with a traditional bank, and a savings account with an online bank, you should be able to set up an automatic transfer from your checking to savings. The effect is the same as splitting a direct deposit -- the money is in your savings account before you even know it’s gone.
4. Pledge to Save Certain Cash
Some people throw their pocket change into a jar every night to save up for something special. But there’s no rule saying you have stick to coins. Instead, ramp up your savings by pledging to set aside every $5 bill that comes your way. Or even every $10. This is a great way to save up for a big ticket item like new furniture.
5. Use a Cash-Back Credit Card
If you’re the type that can pay your credit card off in full every month, and if you won’t let credit card rewards and 0% balance transfers become an excuse for spending more than you should, using a cash-back credit card may be a way to save automatically. At the end of every month, simply deposit your cash back directly into your savings. To build your cash-back savings, find out about Webster’s credit card options. Visit our website to learn more.
6. Automate Your Bills
Most utilities and businesses will allow you to set up automatic bill payments. This will ensure that you pay your bills on time so you can avoid paying late fees and dings to your credit. Sometimes you can even get a discount for paying automatically. Just remember: if you do automate your bills, check your billing statements regularly to make sure there aren’t any mistakes and you’re not being charged for services you aren’t using. Webster’s Online Bill Pay can help you make online bill payments to almost anyone – from cell phone providers to mortgage lenders. Learn more. For more savings tips, talk to a Webster banker today. Visit your local banking center or call 800.325.2424.