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Building an Emergency Savings Account

August 3, 2018 Comments Off on Building an Emergency Savings Account

You want to build an emergency savings account, but it’s so difficult. Is it even possible to save a year’s worth of income? Wouldn’t it be great if you could wave a magic wand and have the money appear? Well, this is real life, and you don’t have a fairy godmother. You have to plan, build, and wait for what you want.

Here are some steps to help you save a year’s worth of income.

Step 1: Plan. In order to have a savings plan, you have to have a spending plan. You can work on your spending plan by reading my last article, Financial Assessment of Your Life. I have a budget planner you can use, or, you can search online for other budget planners. Find one that works for you.

Your savings plan must have a time frame. It will take more than a year to save a year’s worth of income. Don’t be discouraged. The most valuable things in life take time to build – whether it’s a relationship, a good wine, or an amazing savings account.

Your savings plan must have a dollar value. Your savings account payment is a bill you owe yourself. You know how much you pay for rent or mortgage each month. You should know how much you’re going to pay towards savings.

Step 2. Save. That sounds easy, doesn’t it? I realize it’s not as easy as it sounds.

You can make it easier by having the money automatically deposited from your paycheck. That way, you never see it. You could also have it automatically deposited to a different bank than the one where you have your checking account. This will make it harder to withdraw or transfer into checking when you feel like spending money.

No take backs. This is a bill you owe yourself, remember? You can’t call the electric company and ask for your money back, and you can’t take anything out of savings unless it’s a true emergency. (Hint: vacations and spring wardrobes aren’t emergencies.)

Step 3. Plan and save some more. Savings accounts have a purpose, and that purpose is to fulfill your needs and dreams. This is your credit card replacement. You continually build your savings so you can use it. And, as you use it, you pay it back. Building your savings account is never a completed project.

Once you’ve built your emergency savings account, then it’s time to build your fun-money savings account. Do you need to save for a new car? Then start a different savings account for the new car fund. Do you want to pay for your child’s education? Then start a 529 plan investment account (visit your state government’s website for more information). Whatever you want, or think you might want, plan ahead and save for it.

Step 4. Motivate yourself. How’s this for motivation? When you use a savings account, you don’t pay any interest on your purchases. You get paid interest. Everything you buy with savings is cheaper than if you used a credit card or took out a loan.

Here are four good reasons to build a savings account:

1. Big savings all your purchases

2. The bank pays you interest

3. You get what want out of life without going into debt, and

4. You have everything you need in an emergency.

Motivate yourself by posting your goals on the fridge or wall, having family talks, and giving thanks for everything you have instead of complaining about what you don’t have.

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