If you're like most college grads, saving for the future has probably landed lower on your priority list than getting a job, paying off college loans and having enough money to survive on every month. Money can be tight at this stage in your life, but saving is possible. And putting away a little bit of cash now can really add up down the road. Following are four typical saving goals to consider.
No. 1: Rainy day fund.
Have you considered how you would cover a large unforeseen expense (car repairs or dental work)? Commit to building an emergency fund. Make a goal to save $500 just for emergencies so you don't need to resort to credit cards. If that seems like a hard goal, make it a priority to set aside $10 a week, and after one year you will have met your goal.
No. 2: New wheels.
Are you going to need a new (or new to you) vehicle in the near future? If your goal is to save a $1,000 down payment in the next 10 months, set up direct deposit of $50 from your bi-weekly paycheck into your savings account and you'll reach your goal.
No. 3: A home of your own.
If buying a home is in your plans, you'll need to save for a down payment. If you’re able to save $335 a month over five years, you'll have $20,000 to work with. Find a way to reduce your current living expenses – get another roommate, move in with mom and dad for awhile or rent a less expensive apartment. It's worth it to live lean now so you can enjoy homeownership later.
No. 4: Retiring in style.
Start early and take full advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans and employer matches. The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow and accumulate earnings. If you can only afford to save a small percentage of your paycheck now, that's OK. Just commit to upping that percentage every year.
We Can Help You Save More
Talk with a Chaco New Account Specialist. We have a variety of saving tools to help you stay on track. Stop by, give us a call at 513-785-3500 or visit us online at www.chacocu.orgto learn more.
5 Smart Saving Tips
If you make a plan to set aside money in advance, you'll have a better chance at saving success. Try these simple tips to accelerate your saving today:
1. Take advantage of direct deposit. Designate a percentage of your paycheck to go directly into savings instead of checking. You'll be less likely to spend it.
2. Identify waste. Write down your spending habits for one week, and commit to cutting back on unnecessary expenses.
3. Avoid eating out. Pack your lunch and take a thermos of coffee to work.
4. Save your coins. Spend only paper money and toss your change into a money jar, then deposit it into your savings account once a month.
5. Ride share. Identify co-workers who live close to you and take turns driving to work to save on gas.