Starting a Savings Plan

As the new calender year starts, so does the fiscal year. What better time to start a savings plan than now?

But why should anyone start a savings plan (especially if they’re in debt?) So many people think that savings are not possible while paying off debt, but it is possible and really should be a priority just like every other bill a person has.

  1. Not having a money in savings for emergency is asking to either borrow money or use a credit card (or worse) when something does happen. At some point, you’re going to need some emergency money. It’s called life. And yeah, it sucks, but it happens. So be prepared by saving up some money first for such emergencies. I have a separate checking account that I never use except for emergencies. I could use that money, which is about $1,1oo right now, on my student loans, but then what would happen if I backed into my mailbox and needed to get a new tail light, again?
  2. Having money in savings gives a sense of security. When we having a little money saved up for . . . whatever thing we really want or really need, then we feel safer. And this may be a small amount compared to the rest of the bill, but it’s a start and that helps.
  3. Everyone has goals and savings helps us reach them. I would like to do a couple things this coming year that are going to cost money (not a vacation-like thing, but just other stuff I’ll be elaborating on later). I’d also like start a savings account for my son. So having a savings plans helps me reach these goals.

If we treat our savings plans like another bill, we don’t get overwhelmed by them and we are more like to reach our goals. But where do you start?

Well, google. If you google savings plan or savings plan chart, then click on images, you’ll get about 100 million results to pick from. If you want to save up just a thousand to start out and get some money in the bank in case you need it, there’s a plan for that. If your goal is to save up money for a downpayment on a newer car or house, there’s one for that too. Here are my plans:

This plan is for me and my personal savings for some of my goals for this year. Since I’m paid every two weeks, this one made the most sense to me. The only difference is that I plan on doing it backwards and doubling the amounts. From my first paycheck in January, I’ll save $156, then $150 from the next, and so on. December is a tough month what with the Christmas and the travel and all! So why would I want to worry about my greatest savings in December? And I want to double the amounts because I want to save a certain amount for one of my goals without worry.

 This one is for my son. I choose this one because I liked the layout and thought it would be very manageable for for the amount I would like to save for him. The hardest months are going to be May, June, and July, so I may have to break up the payments into two payments, but these might also be possible because I’ll be back to working fulltime during those months. Even if I need to break up the payments between two paychecks, that’s fine because there’s a goal and I can reach it.

There are literally thousands of plans like this online. You can find them everywhere. Some come as pdf’s you can print off. Some come as spreadsheets you can download and fill out on your computer. Others come as jpeg images like the ones I’m using. It’s up to you. But I do recommend two things:

Pick a plan that makes sense for your life. December and November usually rough because of the holidays, and I know that March is going to be rough for me because my son will be born by then. (Did I mention I’m due February 23?) So is there a particulary month that might be rough for you? Is there a particular week that might rough for some reason? Be aware of that. Plan for that. If two of your kids’ birthdays fall in the same month (like some of my friends) or the same day (like my brother’s twins), be aware of how that month may affect your savings account and maybe put a little extra towards your savings beforehand or plan to do it after that time period.

The last piece of advice I can give you is this: use a different account for your savings plan and not your primary checking, emergency savings, wallet, an envelope, or a jar. If you have easy access to the money you’re trying to save, you will probably spend it. It needs to be like all other bills and go somewhere else when you pay it. I suggest either opening new accounts for your savings or opening a Capital One 360 account. These digtal accounts are great! They’re insured, easy to access, and you can open mulitiple accounts easily. You can manage the money easily as well using their app.

I know this was a long post, but it’s full of good advice for starting this year off financially well.

Have a great Monday!