6 simple steps to start saving
We all want to save more money, but getting started can sometimes be the hardest part. If you’re ready to start saving but don’t know where to begin, we can help.
Step 1: Set a goal
What’s your secret (or not-so-secret) financial dream? Do you want to open your own business? Explore the Australian Outback? Put a down payment on your dream home?
What are your long-term financial goals? Do you want to make your friends jealous and retire before you hit 50? Do you dream of sending your kids to college?
Choose your goals and assign a target dollar value to each one.
When you really start saving, first prioritize building an emergency fund that has three to six months’ of living expenses. Thinking of your bigger personal goals now will help keep you focused.
Step 2: Start tracking your expenses and income
You’re about to turn into one of those budgeting nerds. For three months, keep a record of your expenses and all income. At the end of the three months, tally up your totals to figure out the average of each.
If you need help, we offer the Money Management tool for free in online banking. This will help you see where you’re spending your money and set monthly limits. Get started by logging into your online banking, then going to Manage Money > Money Management.
Step 3: Trim your expenses
If you find that your income exceeds your expenses by a fair amount, give yourself a high-five and skip to the next step.
If you spend more than you earn, or your numbers are too close for comfort, look for ways to trim your expenses and save that extra cash.
Step 4: Create a budget
Don’t freak out — this isn’t as hard as it sounds. Just take your averages from step 2 and use them to designate a specific dollar amount for each monthly expense. Don’t forget to include savings in your budget!
Step 5: Choose your savings tools
It’s time to choose a place for your savings to call home. For long-term savings, look for an option that offers an attractive earnings rate, like a certificate of deposit.
If you have a very specific goal in mind, we’ll help you open a special savings account. We have accounts specifically for Christmas and vacations, but you can open a special savings account for any reason.
Step 6: Make saving automatic
We want to make saving your money easy. Here’s how you can do it.
- Set up a monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings account.
- Have a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited into your savings account.
- Enroll in our Spend to Save program. Every transaction you make with your Arsenal debit card gets rounded up to the next dollar. The “change” from that transaction then goes to your savings account.