What kind of saver are you?
Do you prioritize saving money, so that it’s as natural as paying your monthly bills? Or do you only save when you remember to, occasionally increasing any account balances you can?
If it’s the latter, you’re not protecting yourself or preparing for the future. A healthy savings routine will help you factor in costs for retirement, emergency funds, and purchases or milestone events like a first home or a wedding, without relying on your credit cards or other forms of debt.
The good news is, just a few simple changes to your habits can transform you from being a bad saver to being a good saver, making it easy to start improving your financial status today and for the future.
Good savers prioritize saving
When you are paid, where does your money go? If one of your immediate answers isn’t “my savings account,” then you’re not taking advantage of one of the most important habits of good savers: paying yourself first. Start thinking about the money you’re adding to your savings account as a necessity, just like any of your other bills, and make sure that money gets added to your account as quickly as possible. If you can, set up direct deposit with your employer so that a portion of your paycheck automatically goes straight to your savings.
Good savers spend less than they earn
Maintaining a healthy balance where you spend less than what you earn will help protect you from debt. Unfortunately, with the ability to purchase more than you have on hand with credit cards, it’s pretty easy to find yourself spending more than you should. It’s no wonder that Americans currently hold over $1.02 trillion in revolving debt.
Good savers set goals
Do you hope to buy a house one day? Or do you have plans for a vacation in the next couple of years? Giving yourself a clear goal to save for will help you stay motivated and proactive with your saving activity. With your eye on that goal, you’ll be less likely to spend superfluously as you are working towards something you want.
Good savers invest in the long run
It can be tempting to use any extra money you come across to upgrade your immediate lifestyle and spending patterns. But whether you received your tax refund check or a raise at work, those extra dollars weren’t planned for in your existing budget, which means they can go straight to your savings for a nice little boost. If you were to use that extra money on new expenses, you risk using money you might need in the future for things that aren’t essential now.
And part of thinking about the long run means planning for retirement. According to the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey®, only about 60% of American workers feel confident in their ability to afford retirement. A good way to look at it is to think of everything you’re proactively saving as a way to reward your future self.
Good savers find the right tools to help
Using prepaid cards instead of traditional credit cards can be a great way to maintain your purchasing power and stay within budget—all while limiting the temptation to overspend. You can shop online or in-store everywhere Visa Debit or Debit Mastercard is accepted in the US—plus, you can conveniently reload money through direct deposit or even cash. Monthly and other fees do apply, and you can see Green Dot’s simple fees here.
Transforming your saving habits means you’re preparing for your future and giving yourself financial stability now. Set yourself up for success and get your very own Green Dot Prepaid Mastercard or Visa Card today.