America Saves Week  (February 25 – March 2, 2019) is a national effort to set a savings goal, make a savings plan, and save automatically. Join millions of others who are taking time this month to start or grow their savings. These ideas will help you get started.

Save with a Plan

Start your savings habit by creating a simple savings plan. Savers with a plan can be more than twice as likely to save successfully for things like higher education, a home, or retirement. If you are already saving, assess your current plan and make sure that you are saving adequately for your future goals. Just like your car needs a tune-up and you need an annual physical, your checkbook needs regular checkups to be sure you are on the right track.

Save Automatically

It can be hard to put aside money for savings, but there is an easy way to save money without ever missing it by making your savings automatic. Every month, set up an automatic transfer of a fixed amount (like $25) from your checking account to a savings or investment account. Recurring transfers can be set up within Fortifi Bank’s online banking in just a few clicks. You can also make a request with your employer to deduct a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to a savings account.

Already saving automatically? Find ways to automate other aspects of your financial life. Set up automatic payments towards your debt by providing your checking account information to your loan provider to ensure that the payments are on time and in full. Enrolling in automatic payments may even qualify you for a small interest rate deduction with some types of loans and providers, such as some student loans.

Save for Rainy Days

If your car dies, the pipes burst in your home, or you or your spouse lose your job, would you have the cash to cover your costs? Or would it need to be financed through a credit card? An emergency fund consists of a small amount of money in a savings account separate from your checking that you do not have easy access to. Saving for this fund starts with small, regularly scheduled contributions that build up over time. The rule of thumb is to have three to six months of your usual expenses saved up to pay for the unexpected. Consider Fortifi Bank’s Super Money Market Account or iSave savings account for keeping your emergency fund safe – and earning competitive interest along the way.

Save to Retire

Saving now for retirement will ensure you have enough money to have a comfortable standard of living when you stop working or reduce the amount of hours you work. If your employer offers a retirement program such as a 401(k), sign up and put in at least the minimum contribution to receive any matches they may offer. If you do not have access to a work-related retirement program, you can still save for retirement with tax benefits by putting money into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Already saving for retirement? Consider increasing the amount you save toward retirement by 1% or more each year. Thanks in part to compound interest, even modest monthly contributions to a retirement account for 30 to 40 years can easily lead to an accumulation of several hundred thousand dollars.

Save the Extra

Psychology says people are more likely to save a windfall than a small amount consistently over a long period of time. Commit to putting any extra funds from bonuses, raises, and tax refunds straight into a savings account. Monetary gifts from birthdays and the holidays are also a great way to boost your savings. If you have a KASASA Cash® or KASASA Cash Back® checking account, your monthly rewards can automatically be deposited into your KASASA Saver®.

Save as a Family

Good savings habits start at home. Whether you’re budgeting, saving, making retirement decisions, or assessing workplace benefits, share the choices you make with your children, no matter their age. You can make saving a family activity by choosing an item everyone wants to work toward such as a vacation, pet, or dinner together at a special restaurant. Define how much must be saved and for how long, and then list the ways everyone will contribute to the goal such as collecting change, selling gently used items, and recycling aluminum cans. This activity brings the family together for a common goal and fosters skills that will last a child’s lifetime.

Saving money, improving your financial life, and building wealth start with setting a goal and making a plan. For additional assistance, contact us or visit your nearest Fortifi Bank location. Together, we will help guide you toward achieving your goals for today and your dreams for tomorrow.

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