Bell’s story about how to save a lot of money in a hurry was our most popular article of 2017. In case you missed it, here’s how to build a $10,000 savings account in 4 years.
Saving money can seem challenging. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and according to a Bankrate survey, only 37 percent of respondents said they could pay for unexpected expenses with savings.
But saving money is essential, and for many people, it is possible to save $2,500 every year without even noticing it's missing.
Lynn Johnson, senior vice president and director of Bell's retail banking, says even small savings each month over a long period of time provide great rewards.
"You'll never regret saving, but you might regret not saving," she said.
First, make saving a priority. Pay yourself first by setting up your direct deposit to put $50 into your savings account with each paycheck. Or set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings to coincide with when your paychecks come in. For a couple or family, that might mean one less meal at a restaurant or one less trip to the movies, but it's worth the sacrifice. If you're paid every two weeks, that's a savings of $1,300 a year.
"If you really want to save money, it needs to be a priority, and not just something you'd kind of like to do," Lynn said.
Second, sign up for a virtual piggy bank. Bell Bank's ChangeSaver program rounds up every purchase you make and deposits the difference into your savings account. If you round up your purchase by $2, and you make 50 purchases a month, that adds up to savings deposits of $100 a month or $1,200 a year. Plus, Bell matches 5 percent of your ChangeSaver roundups, up to $250 a year. That means Bell will add $60 to your $1,200 ChangeSaver savings.
When you add both savings plans together, that's a total of $2,560 for the year. Just 4 years of this would give you a savings account of $10, 240.
"We live our lives and make choices mostly from habits we've developed over the years," Lynn said. "In order to be a good or better saver, we may need to develop new habits. To do this, you need to make a conscious choice to make good decisions with your money every day and be intentional about the things you buy."
Call us or stop by and talk to a customer service expert or personal banker to sign up for ChangeSaver or ask about automatic deposits into your savings account.
What to Check Out Next
Visit Bell’s Advice Center for more stories on saving and your finances.