We live in a time of instant gratification. We can shop for
an item without leaving the couch and have it delivered the same day. We can
find the answer to a nagging question with a few keystrokes. We can lock our
cars from our phones and make phone calls through our cars. We are wired to
meet our immediate wants which sometimes can mean we spend our money on things now,
instead of putting it aside for things we might want or need later. With this
in mind, it might take some planning and determination to build and maintain your
Here are steps that might help.
To set yourself up for savings success, build a simple budget. Think of it as a road map that tells you exactly where you are in terms of monthly income and expenses, what money is available to save each month, and if you're on track. A budget helps you monitor and track your financial progress. The most important part of your budget is updating and monitoring it regularly. Build it in a format that works best for you - using a smartphone app, spreadsheet, or simple notebook
Use the SMART method for reaching your savings goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and anchored within a Time Frame. As an example, depending on your specific situation, perhaps you can deposit $20 each week to hit an annual savings goal of $1,000. Measure your progress each week and modify as needed.
Manage your debt. It's not easy, but the longer you
carry large balances on your credit cards, the more of your monthly payment is
applied to interest and the less you have to deposit in a savings account. You
will save the most money by starting to pay as much extra as you can on your
highest-interest debt first, and then once that's paid off, move on to your second-highest-interest
debt, and so on.
Start an emergency fund. A savings plan should include building an emergency savings fund to handle unexpected expenses and setbacks that can come up suddenly. A general rule of thumb is to set aside three months' worth of living expenses in your emergency fund. This buys you some time if something were to happen. If that isn't realistic for your situation, start with what you can.
Deposit and forget it. The most successful savers automate monthly deposits to make it as painless as possible. Decide how much you can deposit into savings and set yourself up with an automated transfer. Another good option is to automatically direct deposit a portion of your paycheck into savings every payday. Begin with an amount you can afford to put into savings and look at your big-picture plan to set your savings goals in the long term.
Finally, deposit money safely into insured accounts. Pay attention to your account's deposit insurance. Telhio is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This means that deposits up to $250,000 are insured, just like FDIC insurance for banks. Telhio members also have additional coverage of up to $250,000 provided to consumer account holders by Excess Share Insurance Corporation, a licensed insurance company, for a total of $500,000 in coverage on your personal accounts.