In a recent study, the Federal Reserve Board discovered that 46 percent of Americans wouldn’t be able to come up with $400 when faced with an emergency or unexpected expense. Are you part of that group? Across the globe, banks and other financial institutions are seeking new, easier and more creative ways to help account holders save more of their hard-earned paychecks. Let’s take a look at a few options.
Connect Everything. According to Ramit Sethi, author of the bestselling book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” you can cut down on the time and effort it takes to save by connecting the various accounts that make up your finances Start by making a list of all of your accounts – loans, credit cards, retirement accounts, investment accounts, checking and savings accounts, and anything else you can think of. Add to that all of your recurring monthly bills. Once everything is hooked up, you’ll be able to easily automate bill payments and transfers. For those of you who are visual learners, plug your pay days and bill due dates into a digital calendar, so you can quickly and easily see due dates and other patterns in your finances.
Redirect Your Direct Deposit. You might have filled out a direct deposit form the last time you started a new job, but did you take the time to consider some of the ways you can make direct deposit work for you? Direct deposit offers one of the simplest methods to save without thinking about by re-route money from your paycheck before it ever deposits into your checking account. Many employers will allow you to route a specific amount to a savings account, a different checking account, or even to a different bank entirely. Talk to your employer’s payroll department to learn more.
There’s an App for That. Seriously, there is an app for that. Actually, there are several. If you have no idea where your money goes each month, apps like Mint, (link to https://www.mint.com/ ) Toshl Finance (link to https://toshl.com/ ) and Level (link to https://www.levelmoney.com/ ) track your spending habits to help you identify patterns and learn to budget more effectively. If you need help with the actual process of saving, apps like Qapital, (link to https://www.qapital.com ) Digit (link to https://digit.co ) and SmartyPig (link to https://www.smartypig.com ) will take the problem out of your hands by automatically withdrawing money from your account. Depending on which app you choose, you will need to specify when, why, or how often the money is withdrawn. Each of these apps offers its own bells and whistles, so make sure to research each option thoroughly to determine which is right for you.
With a wealth of modern options available to help you automate savings, it’s easier than ever to get started. While you may have to put in some extra work to get the ball rolling, it won’t be long before you start to see the results!