America Saves Week
America Saves Week is February 21-25. In a study conducted one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pew Research Center found that 31% of adults who typically were able to save money had saved less than usual. Working adults with lower incomes felt the pandemic would make achieving financial goals harder.
So how can you save more money? Here are six steps to start your savings journey:
- Commit to Establishing Emergency Savings
Unexpected emergencies often sabotage our financial goals, so getting in a savings mindset and building an emergency fund is crucial. Start small and think big by setting a $500 rainy day fund goal. Once you’ve reached that goal, it may be easy to continue!
- Take the America Saves Pledge
Now that you’re committed to saving, it’s time to consider how you’ll achieve it. The America Saves Pledge is a tool that helps you make a simple plan to meet your savings goal while offering you long-term accountability and support along the way.
- Open A Savings Account
If you don’t have a savings account, now’s the time! Compare savings options and open your account today. If you already have a BancorpSouth account and use Online Banking, you could have the convenience of having your savings account with the same bank you're already familiar with. Opening a BancorpSouth savings account ensures your deposits are insured by the FDIC.
- Set Up Automatic Savings
The easiest way to save is to save automatically! If your employer offers direct deposit, contact your employer or human resources contact to see if you can set up a split direct deposit into your savings account each pay period. With a split deposit, a portion of your earnings can be deposited into your checking account and another portion into your savings account.
If you have a checking and savings account with BancorpSouth, you can use the Transfers tool in your BancorpSouth online or mobile banking to transfer money automatically with a recurring transfer. You can customize the amount, the frequency and the duration of transfers to help you save regularly!
- Get Serious About Reducing Your Debt
When you reduce your debt, you save on interest and fees while maintaining or improving your credit score! Try using the “Snowball Method” or the “Avalanche Method:”
- Snowball method
"Snowballing" your debt is a type of accelerated debt repayment plan. First, list all of your debts from the smallest balance to the largest balance. Next, make the minimum payment on all your debts except the smallest one. With your smallest debt, you will put as much money as you can toward the balance. Once the smallest debt is paid, take the amount you were putting towards that debt and apply it to the next smallest debt. With this method, interest rates are not the focus.
- Avalanche method
With the "avalanche" method, you will still make the minimum payments on every source of debt, but you apply the remaining funds toward the debt with the highest interest rate. By paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first, you could reduce the overall amount of interest you pay.
- Get Clear On Your Finances
Create a spending and savings plan that allows you to see your income, expenses and anything left over easily. Once you have a clear view of your finances, you can better determine where to make changes and what else you should be saving for based on your financial goals.