Americans save about 6 percent of their income on average, according to 2016 data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Whether you’re just getting your emergency fund started or you’re building up your retirement accounts, these simple tools, tactics and banking features can help you do better.
1 Make it automatic
Automating savings can help you get to your goal, with just a onetime setup. You have two simple options:
Deposit a portion of every paycheck directly into your savings account.
Schedule automatic transfers. These let you regularly transfer money to your savings account from another eligible account, like your checking account.
You can adjust your transfers or deposits any time you want, but if you stay the course, you could see big rewards over time.
Tip: Make sure to schedule your transfers when you know you have enough money in the originating account, such as after each payday. Bank of America offers automatic transfers to help you build your savings.
2 Stockpile your change
Remember the days when you dropped your spare change into a piggy bank or a jar? You probably never missed that money, but after a while you had enough to give your bank account a real boost. These days, apps and programs have harnessed the potential of small change. The details may differ depending on the program, but generally your financial transactions—such as swiping your debit card when you buy lunch at work—are rounded up to the next dollar, and the difference is transferred into a savings or investment account.
If you do this every workday for a year, you accumulate $125 or more, enough for a concert ticket, your child’s soccer fees or a nice birthday gift for your mom. Learn more about Bank of America’s Keep the Change® savings program, which rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar amount and transfers the difference into your savings account.
3 Gather your rewards
If you typically use a credit card to pay for things, consider applying for one that lets you earn rewards on your purchases. You can use those rewards as a savings tool. For example, if your credit card gives you cash back, you could put that money into your savings account.
4 Adjust your budget
One of the best ways to save money is to build savings into your budget. If you find it hard to stick to a budget, a number of apps and programs can help do the work for you. These apps generally require access to certain financial details, such as your online account log-ins and passwords. Then, they analyze your spending and advise you on where to cut back or save.
Tip: If you’re considering downloading budgeting software or a budgeting app, make sure you research it before using it, and only download it from a verified site or store.
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