Many New Year’s resolutions seem to revolve around getting healthy. In 2017, you may be planning to eat better, sleep more, or spend a few extra days at the gym each week. But why stop at your physical fitness? Isn’t it time to focus on your financial fitness too?
Beyond choosing a New Year’s resolution, there’s also the matter of keeping it. You might be ready to rock on January 1st, but halfway through February you could start to lose steam. While anything can happen during the year to derail your goals, there are ways to make your financial resolutions easier to achieve. If you’re serious about making financial fitness a priority, check out these ideas for moving towards a healthier bank account.
Make a Savings Plan for the Year
The first step to saving more? Make a plan. If your resolution is just “save more” but you don’t have a way to achieve it, it’s probably going to be hard to make any progress. Plus, you won’t have a way to measure your success.
There are plenty of ways to build your savings plan. When building your plan, make sure that the plan meets your lifestyle and is achievable. There are tons of pre-built savings plans out there, but if they don’t work with your budget or how you normally bank, then feel free to adapt them to your needs.
If you already have a monthly budget that you follow regularly, take a look at how much you saved last year, and see if there is any room for increasing your savings this year. Even if it’s a few dollars more a month, it’ll add up over time.
If you’re starting from scratch, then start small, and leave room for adjustments throughout the year. You can make a goal of a set number each month. Or, try for an incremental savings plan. Save a small amount each month to start and multiply it each month. For example, you could start by saving 1% of your income in January, and increase that amount by a percent each month. While it may take longer to see growth, you’ll be able to ease up to saving your goal amount, which could help you avoid burn out.
No matter what your plan is, make it easier to achieve with the online tools available with your Simply Right Checking account. You can set up transfers directly from your checking account to your savings account, designating an amount and a date. This can help you meet your goals by eliminating the potential of forgetting to make a transfer. Plus, there’s nothing stopping you from manually transferring a few extra dollars to savings at the end of the month if you want to save more!
How to Budget and Save Money in 2017 with a Clear Plan
If you don’t currently have a working budget, you may want to add that to your resolution list, or even prioritize it before you start trying to save. Start by tracking your monthly spending by category. You should be able to get a feel for the average amount you spend on food, bills, and other various expenses each month. This will allow you to identify how much it is feasible to save on a month to month basis, or it could help you identify areas where you need to cut back.
One way to calculate how much you usually spend each month is by looking over your spending for the past year or two. A simple way to do this is by logging into online banking for your Simply Right Checking account. Depending on how long you have had an account with Santander Bank, your account overview will have approximately two full years of activity available for your account, so you don’t have to wait to start calculating your budget.
Have a Spending Goal
Saving can be particularly hard if you don’t know what you’re saving for!
If you want to stay on track with your savings, have something you’re working towards. It doesn’t mean you have to blow all of your hard-earned money at the end of the year. You want to make sure you still have an emergency fund available. But choose something to reward yourself for saving more. It can be something practical, like the down payment on a new car or a house. Or it could be something a bit more frivolous, like the dream vacation you didn’t think you could afford. Hopefully with a little incentive, you’ll be able to stick to your financial resolution and build better savings habits for years to come.