Saving money isn’t always easy. Here’s a simple and effective strategy that will help you keep more money in your pocket while accumulating wealth.
What's the easiest way to save money from each paycheck? When it's done automatically. Not having to think about putting money into savings is the key to staying consistent, and ultimately reaching your financial goals faster. On top of that, having a dedicated savings fund will help you pay for large expenses like a down payment on a house or car, medical emergency, or funding your vacation.
First, let's start with the good news –setting up an automatic savings plan through Online Banking is quick and easy. (If you haven't yet, set up your Online Banking – it's free, and the tools it contains are useful long after you set up your plan.)
Once you log in to Online Banking click “Transfers.” You'll see a new page appear with the heading “Transfer Funds.”
From this page, you'll be able to make a single or recurring transfer of funds. For our purposes, you'll want to make it a recurring transfer. Select the account you want to transfer to and from, and set the frequency to occur with each time you receive a paycheck. We suggest transferring from your checking into your savings account, a BECU Money Market or an Add-to Certificate of Deposit (CD). (If you have direct deposit , this makes things even simpler. If not, be sure to sign up if your employer offers it.)
Set the first transfer date to the date you receive your next paycheck, and designate an amount you feel comfortable with. You can always adjust this later if you feel it's too little or too much.
Have more than one financial goal you're trying to hit? You can open multiple savings accounts, each with their own goal attached to them. Maybe you're saving for a trip to Fiji, but also want to put a down payment on a house someday all while building your emergency fund. Once those new accounts are opened, you can rename them to “Fiji Fund” or “House Down Payment Fund” or whatever you've got in mind. Follow the steps below on how to rename your new accounts in Online Banking:
- Click “edit profile”
- Click “manage account view”
- Rename your accounts under the “account nickname” field
- Save changes
Any time you're taking a hard look at your finances is also a great opportunity to take a look at your monthly budget – especially if one of your goals is to save more or spend less. You might be surprised how much you're spending on things you don't really need, including
- Eating out
- Uber/Lyft rides
- Subscription services
- Other entertainment
As you're evaluating all of this, take into consideration what you could cut out, and think of it as getting that much closer to each goal. Taking that extra step might also help in deciding how much you'll set aside to save from each paycheck, further solidifying your savings plan.
After a few months, you'll start seeing your savings accumulate. If you're worried you might get tempted to spend it too quickly, you can take another step to resist the urge: in the Account Summary screen in Online Banking, click “Hide accounts in this list.” Then, on the following screen, select the account to which you're transferring funds. This will hide the desired account from view each time you log in – nothing else will change. Try to only view the account on each payday, and then hide it from view again before logging out.
Take the next step
Want to earn even more money, faster? When you have at least $100 to set aside, open a CD with the “Add-to” feature. This feature lets you make systematic, recurring contributions to your CD, so it works just like an automatic savings plan. Plus, CDs typically earn a higher rate of return than a standard savings account.
We know saving money isn't always easy, but with the right strategy, you can overcome doubts and be confident that you can reach your goals. Nothing is out of reach with the right planning, and remember – we're here to help. Log in to Online Banking to get started. Member consultants can also help you get started on your savings plan, and help you set up recurring transfers. Give us a call at 800-233-2328, or visit any Neighborhood Financial Center.
You must establish membership by opening a Member Share Savings Account or Member Advantage Savings Account. You must maintain membership to open a CD. Early withdrawal penalties may apply.