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What can make someone a successful saver? A successful saver lives within their means. They know the difference between wants and needs. And, while they’re happy to use consumer discounts and coupons, they don’t give in to peer, societal or marketing pressures.
Successful savers go their own way—and save money doing it. Rather than “keeping up with the Joneses,” smart savers understand the value of setting a budget, sticking to it, and deferring purchases until after savings goals have been met.
Here are some ideas for being a successful saver. Try one or more of these ideas to help start and grow your own savings.
Consider having your employer split-deposit your paycheck to your checking account and a separate high-interest savings account. This way, saving becomes automatic. And because your savings account is separate, you might be less tempted to spend it.
All savings accounts are not created equal. Online bank accounts often offer higher yields than brick-and-mortar banks, with savings account interest rates and certificate of deposit (CD) interest rates that are higher than the national average annual percentage yield (APY).
One idea to cut spending: save money by bringing your lunch. If, for example, you average $8 a day for lunch at work, that’s $40 per week and $2,000 per year. It adds up. If you were to bring your lunch from home for about $2 per day, you could achieve a savings of $1,500 per year to add to your savings account. Homemade sandwiches taste pretty good when you’re watching your savings grow.
If you don’t know what you’re spending each month, start paying attention. Track your spending for a few months, and make a budget to live by. Track the money you save by eliminating unnecessary spending and put it right into your online savings account.
Consider taking advantage of 401(k) opportunities from your employer. If your employer offers to match your contributions, don’t leave that money on the table—contribute to your 401(k) and get your employer’s match.
Once you accumulate significant savings, you may want to move some of your savings to an FDIC-insured fixed-rate CD account to lock in an interest rate.
Consider keeping all or a portion of your core savings in an FDIC-insured bank. This can mean keeping your money in savings or CD accounts that are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum allowed by law. According to the FDIC, since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds due to bank failure. For more information about FDIC coverage and limits, visit the FDIC website at www.fdic.gov/deposit.
Bottom line: It takes discipline to build your savings, and small steps can make a big difference in the long run. Although the ideas above may be employed by many successful savers, the most successful approach for you will depend on your particular needs, goals and lifestyle. Find what works for you and then keep saving.