Did you save enough in 2014? Do you have enough money tucked away for retirement? How about for a small emergency? What if the furnace blows next month or your car needs repairs? Do you have enough in savings to get by? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is a resounding no.
Most financial experts recommend that you pay yourself first. That means before you pay rent, buy groceries or go to the movies, you set aside a portion of your income. We recommend that you create a monthly budget to see where your money is going. In doing so, set a savings goal for each paycheck. If you think there isn’t room for savings, take a closer look at frivolous expenses or impulse buys that could be draining your checking account (Click here to read about 35 ways to save some dollars).
Once you know how much you want to save, you just need to decide where to tuck the money away to keep it safe. If you are just starting out, the best approach is to open a savings account. At VCNB we offer a personal savings account that requires an opening balance of $100 for adults with no minimum for minors. Interest is paid on this account if it has a balance of $100 or more.
Once you have a savings account, you can deposit funds at the bank, with direct deposit and with Online Banking. You can even set up automatic transfers to ensure the funds actually make it to savings. Once it’s there, try not to touch the money unless there is a true emergency.
If you have a high deductible insurance plan, another great savings option is the Health Savings Account (HSA). While some banks charge large fees for an HSA, VCNB offers this account for free if you accept a monthly e-statement rather than a paper statement. If you wish to receive a paper statement, the account fee is $3 per month. There is a one-time $25 set up fee for this account that is waved if you have this coupon. Basically, an HSA is a tax favored way to save money for qualified medical expenses.
If you don’t use the money you deposited into your HSA this year, the funds will roll over to the next year. For many young people with lower medical expenses, this is a great way to begin saving for later in life when medical expenses typically become more burdensome. Once you reach the age of 65, your HSA savings can be used for any type of expense. Check out this link to learn more about an HSA at VCNB.
If you already have a nest egg but would like to earn more interest for your savings, a good investment is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Certificate of Deposit (CD) with VCNB. With a CD, you can select the length of time you would like to invest and then watch your money grow. An IRA allows you to save more for your future because you can contribute to your retirement over time while earning interest. We offer Traditional, ROTH, SEP and Educational IRA’s, allowing you to choose what’s best for your long term goals.
There is no greater security than financial security. For most people that doesn’t come overnight. Instead it comes dollar by dollar. Take a moment now to consider what you want your finances to look like a year from now, five years from now and twenty years from now. Then devise a plan and start saving today!
Your future self will thank you.