Whether you’re just starting out in your career or nearing retirement, maximizing your savings may help you reach your goals and overcome any financial bumps in the road.
In your twenties
Young adults may be faced with rent, vehicle and student loan payments. Although saving may seem out of reach, getting started now can reap big rewards later.
Create a budget.
Compare your income to fixed and discretionary expenses to help identify where you can cut costs and save money. There are plenty of free and low-cost budgeting apps to help you manage your monthly spending and savings plan.
Pay yourself first.
Treat your savings like a bill that must be paid each month. Open an emergency savings account. Strive to accumulate at least enough money to cover several months of costs in case of job loss or unexpected expenses. Consider a separate savings account to save toward a personal goal, such as new car, dream vacation or down payment on a home.
Make it automatic.
If offered, sign up for your employer’s 401(k), 403(b) or other retirement plan - especially if it includes a matching contribution. Your contributions come out of your paycheck automatically, so you probably won’t even notice. You can also take advantage of Advancial’s Save Up℠ program through Ultimate Checking
. It automatically rounds up your transactions and deposits the difference into your Advancial savings account. They’ll match 100% of your transfers for the first 30 days and 5% of every transfer after that.
Thirties and forties
Although the above tips still apply, you may also have the added responsibilities of caring for family, managing your career and perhaps tending to your aging parents. The following tips will help you save more despite competing demands.
Open a tax-advantaged college savings plan.
If you have kids, start saving for higher education as early as possible (when they’re still in diapers ideally). Talk to your credit union about Coverdell Education IRAs
and state 529 plans. Advancial’s Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) lets you help your child or family member prepare for college or further their education. The money saved will grow tax-free and can be used for a variety of educational expenses.
Save “found” money.
If you’re about to pay off a loan, consider redirecting the same amount you’ve been paying into your savings account. If you receive a bonus at work, allow yourself a small splurge and put the rest into savings. Getting an income tax refund? It’s a great way to bump up your nest egg!
Review insurance coverage.
You may be surprised how much you are able to save on premiums. Check out insurance quotes available through Advancial with Mylo
. Mylo is a fast, friendly and free solution that helps you easily compare your options. If you can lower costs for home, auto, life and other insurance while maintaining adequate coverage, direct that extra money to your savings account.
Fifties and sixties
Retirement is getting closer, so consider the following tips:
Increase retirement savings.
Since you’re likely in your peak earning years, consider increasing the amount you’re putting into retirement accounts. If you’re 50 or older, you may be able to make additional catch-up contributions to employer-sponsored plans and IRAs. If you leave your job, be sure to switch your employer plan into a rollover IRA.
Meet with a financial advisor.
You may need a reality check about when you can afford to retire. Review your asset allocation – the mix of stocks, bonds and other investments you have – to see if you need to adjust your portfolio based on your current risk tolerance.
Think about downsizing.
If your kids are grown and the nest is empty, you may be able to buy a smaller, less expensive, and perhaps more accessible home with an eye toward the future. If your current home is your primary residence and you’ve lived there for at least two of the past five years, you may be eligible for a capital gains tax break when you sell. That could mean a sizeable chunk of change toward retirement. Talk to your tax advisor or attorney to learn more.