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Becoming a Savvy Saver

Photo Credit: SimonAlparez

Learning to save early on can lead to a healthy financial life. There are many benefits that result from saving which include the ability to reach your financial goals, being able to avoid going into debt when you have unplanned expenses and gaining a piece of mind knowing that you have a cushion in case you need money fast for an emergency!

How to start saving, pay yourself first. When you receive income, instantly contribute something toward your savings, no matter how small the amount. Saving on a regular basis (e.g. every week; once a month) will help you to develop a lifelong habit.

Set goals and make a plan. If you set financial goals along with a detailed plan on how to reach them, you will set yourself up for success.

Savings Account. This is an account offered by nearly every banking and credit institution in the United States. Be sure to get a bank that is insured (either FDIC or NCUA) so that if the bank fails, your money is protected.

U.S. Savings Bond. This is a product issued by the federal government in which you enter into an agreement to loan the government money for a specified period of time and in return you are paid interest up front. Most bonds can earn interest for up to 30 years from the time you buy them but you usually cannot cash them before 5 years without a penalty.

Ready, set, save. Step 1. Find out if your account type is FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) or NCUA (National CreditUnion Administration) insured; Step 2. Compare institutions interest rates, fees, and the frequency of compounding interest; Step 3.Check out the convenience services offered (e.g. online banking, ATM access); Step 4. Open your new account and start saving right away!

 

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.

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