It’s almost that time of year: America Saves Week, which starts February 25th and goes through March 2nd. Each day has a different theme to promote personal saving, whether it’s saving for retirement, your children’s college fund, a down payment on a house, or an emergency fund. For those that are new to saving, saving for all of these things can seem like a daunting task. If you haven’t been saving at all, that’s okay. Start small with just a simple emergency savings account.
When it comes to putting money aside for savings, the act of doing it (the behavior) is more important than the actual amount. So don’t worry if you don’t think you can save a large amount every month. It’s not about the math. Just the very act of putting money aside for savings will help you get into the habit of saving. Then, as saving becomes more natural to you, you can see try to increase your savings amount by looking over your budget and determining what you can cut back on to build up your savings even faster, whether it’s cancelling a gym membership or cutting your monthly entertainment budget in half.
Why have a healthy amount saved anyway? Well, have you ever had an emergency? If not, you will, as everyone encounters some kind of emergency, whether it’s a trip to the mechanic or the dentist office, there are many things in life that cannot be planned. But you can plan to have a savings account. For example, say you need $700 in car repairs. Which sounds like an ideal situation to be in?
- Having at least $1000 set aside in an emergency fund. You can pay for the car repairs in cash, and then tweak your budget in the coming months to rebuild that emergency fund.
- Not having any money in savings and putting that bill on a credit card. You didn’t pay the credit card bill in full so it takes you several months to pay for those repairs, plus, now you are paying interest. That $700 mechanic bill will cost more than $700 in that case!
Again, start saving little bits here and there so you don’t fall into the trap of having to use credit cards for emergencies. Make sure “savings” is a category on your budget template so you know to always set something aside. The more you do it, the easier saving will become.
To take the pledge that you will start saving in honor of America Saves Week, and to learn more about saving, please see the link for Florida Saves: https://americasaves.org/local-campaigns/florida-saves