Life happens. No matter how carefully we plan our finances, things pop up. And those things- car repairs, home repairs, medical bills, et cetera- always cost us money. If you have a savings account with reserve money to handle these unexpected expenses, then you can sleep peacefully at night knowing you’re covered. But, if you’re like the majority of Americans who live from paycheck-to-paycheck, and who save less than 1% of their take-home pay, then these unexpected expenses can wreak havoc on your budget. These expenses can make you borrow money from a friend or family member, or worse… they can make you reach for your interest-hungry credit cards. If the latter describes you, then you need to find out about two easy ways to make your savings account grow.
When you think about adding money to your savings account on a regular basis, you probably cringe. “How?”, you ask yourself, “Can I possibly afford to save money?” “I can barely afford now to make the mortgage or rent payment, pay the bank every month for my car, keep my kids clothed, and pay the utility bills. Not to mention the rising cost of gasoline, heating fuel, insurance premiums, and groceries!” By using one of two plans, everyone can save money back for that “rainy day.”
The first easy way to make your savings account grow will have you saving money with very little effort on your part. I learned it from a man who was responsible for supporting his family of nine. How did he manage to put money back even though his weekly paychecks barely covered the necessities? Here is his simple secret: when he paid for a cup of coffee, a daily newspaper, or even gasoline at the station, he never used his change. If the bill was 50 cents, he paid with a dollar, and then he pocketed the 50 cents change. If he filled the tank of his car with $25.36 worth of gasoline, he paid the cashier an even amount. Then, he put the coin change in his pocket. Every night when he was getting ready for bed, the man would then deposit the change he had in his pocket into a glass jar. You may not think of change adding up, but add up it does! This man told me one day, with a smile on his face, that his kids needed new shoes. I couldn’t help but notice that he could be so happy and unstressed even though he knew he had to come up with a chunk of money to put shoes on his kids’ feet. The answer was simple: he pulled out his change jar. He then started counting up and putting the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters into wrappers so he could take them to the bank. Did his savings account cover the expense of buying his kids’ shoes? I saw more than $150. in change, and he was still counting!
The second of the two easy ways to make your savings account grow was inspired by a bank. When a friend of mine went in one day to conduct some business, one of the managers asked her if she would like to open a savings account. My friend laughed. “I’m a single Mom,” she answered. “With the cost of this and the cost of that, who can afford to have a savings account?” The wise bank manager had an answer for that. “With surprise expenses popping up when you least expect them, how can you afford not to have a savings account? You need a savings account to help cover those bills so you don’t have to use your credit card.” The manager went on to explain that my friend could open an account, at no cost to her, if she simply had a minimum of $25.00 automatically deposited into her savings account from her checking account every month. Twenty-five dollars? My friend wondered how she was going to scrape together that much money every month. But, what the bank manager said made sense to her. And, to have a savings account she could fall back on in times of need did give her a sense of security. So, my friend rearranged her budget a little bit, and now she’s growing her savings account every month bit by bit.
Did it hurt my friend’s lifestyle to take $25.00 out of her spending money? Not really. She only had to make a few simple changes to come up with the money to put in her savings account. She canceled her daily newspaper subscription and she cut down on her coffee consumption. My friend reads the free, online version of her local newspaper, and, her doctor wanted her to cut down on coffee anyhow!
Once you use one of these two easy ways to make your savings account grow, you’re going to find that you sleep a bit better at night knowing that you have a savings account to rely on.
Remember, change adds up. And, even saving only $25.00 a month is going to add up as well!