How to Save Money

Family outside hula hooping

Make saving easy on yourself!

Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. There are many ways to make saving easier and less stressful. It doesn’t matter when you start saving — all that matters is that you start saving and keep saving. Here are six steps to give you a jumpstart on saving money now.

Learn the benefits of saving

If you’re the type (or even if you aren’t) that needs to understand the “why” of something before you act, here are a couple of ways to better understand the benefits and the need for savings. For example, you never know when you might need some funds in case of emergency. (Having savings to replace your nearly bald car tires or to cover unexpected medical expenses is waaaaay better than going into debt to pay for them!)

BENEFIT OF SPENDING LESS CALCULATOR – Reducing your spending can be worth more than you might think. Use this calculator to see just how much your budget reductions may be worth.

EMERGENCY SAVINGS CALCULATOR – This calculator helps you determine how much emergency savings you may need, and how you can begin saving toward this important goal.

Start small

Many people think it’s not worth saving anything unless you save a lot. (Not true!) Every little bit of savings helps. So watch your spending with our money manager, and see how little luxuries can put a dent in your ability to save. By curbing your iTunes downloads or daily double-shot mocha with extra whip, you might be able to set aside thousands that you can put toward your goals, such as higher education or a milestone vacation!

SAVINGS CALCULATOR – Find out how consistent investments over a number of years can be an effective strategy to accumulate wealth.

Make a plan

Once you see where you can save, make a budget to structure your cash flow. Plan to set aside the same amount each month. Remember, this can be just a few bucks! It all adds up, which you can more easily see when you crunch the numbers into budgets and savings goals.

  • When you save $5 a week, you end up with $260
  • $10 per week equals $520 a year!
  • Another way to boost your savings for larger expenses is to save your tax refund instead of spending it.

HOW TO MAKE A BUDGET – A budget is the best place to start to get your spending in check.

SAVINGS GOALS CALCULATOR – What will it take to reach your savings goal? This financial calculator helps you find out.

COOL MILLION CALCULATOR – Find out when your savings plan may make you a millionaire!

Save on a schedule

To make saving money a constant in your life, set up automatic payments into your savings account. (It’ll keep you honest!) With online banking, it’s super easy to schedule regular transfers… plus you have total control over the transfer date and how much comes out each time. If having total control tests your willpower, contact us to set up a free EZ transfer. (We set it up for you, and you can’t undo it without our help.)

SET UP AN AUTOMATIC DEDUCTION – Have whatever dollar amount you choose automatically transferred from your checking account into your savings account.

Let it grow

Once you have a consistent savings plan in place, help your savings grow! Open a Certificate of Deposit (aka CD) or find other ways to capitalize on interest rates that will build up your savings over time. CDs keep the money growing safely in a separate account, reducing the temptation to use it. Set milestones for your regular savings. For example, when you reach $1,000 in your savings account, move it into a CD so those funds can grow faster. (A CD typically has a higher interest rate than a savings account.)

CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT CALCULATOR – Use this calculator to find out how much interest you can earn on a Certificate of Deposit (CD).

Save on purchases

The other side of savings is to get all the discounts you can when you shop and to purchase used items when possible!

Many stores, like Hy-Vee and Target, offer loyalty or discount programs where you can save on purchases. (They’re worth checking into, but we don’t recommend getting a store credit card. Usually the interest rate on those is sky high, and you could end up paying more in interest than what you save with discounts!)

Money-saving apps with coupons are also available, and if you search online, you’ll find coupons for almost any retailer. Plus, Linn Area’s All-In checking account has a $hopping RewardsTM program, so you can save money when you purchase stuff from Amazon and other sites. (Ohhhh, yeah!)

Used items can be every bit as good as new — and cost you a fraction of the retail price! For example, you could find a great pre-owned dining room table for a hundreds less than a new one! Consider items for sale on second-hand sales sites, such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and ebay, or go to thrift stores and flea markets. If you have stuff lying around that you don’t use, post it on one of the sites to turn it into cash! (You may even find gently used items for cheap that you can resell online for a profit!)

Need a hand getting your savings plan off the ground? Contact us! We’ll be happy to help you get on track and stay on track!