Savings & SMART Goals

Piggy BankPiggy Bank Save Now, Enjoy Later: Every Little Bit Counts

Did you know that just 60% of people could cover an unexpected $400 expense with cash or savings?

Types of Savings

  • Emergency Fund: An emergency fund is a sum of money that you set aside to cover unexpected expenses or financial emergencies which can include things like unexpected medical bills, car repairs, or job loss.

  • Short-term savings: Short-term savings are for expenses that you plan to make in the near future, such as a new laptop, textbooks, or a spring break trip. Having a separate savings account for short-term goals can help you avoid dipping into your emergency fund or using credit cards.

  • Long-term savings: Long-term savings are for big-picture goals, such as buying a house, starting a business, or *saving for retirement. It's important to start saving for these goals early and consistently to take advantage of compounding interest.
    *Retirement savings can include contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), or other types of investment accounts.

Where Can I Put My Savings?

Stashing your savings in your home is always an option, making it easy to get to. However, the money could be easily stolen, lost, or be temping to use for impulse purchases.

Using a bank is an essential aspect of managing personal finances and achieving financial goals. Banks serve as a trusted financial institution that offers a wide range of services. For most people, that starting point of working with a bank is to open a savings account, and there are few types to consider.

Account Function Pros Cons

BASIC Savings Account

amongst the safest places to put money

  • low minimum balance
  • Earn a guarantee rate of interest
  • government insured
  • easy to withdraw money
  • lowest interest rate
  • (online banks typically offer a slightly higher interest rate)

Money market Account (MMA)

similar to a checking account
  • take out money anytime (usually without penalty)
  • higher interest rate than saving
  • may require a high minimum monthly ($1k-$10k) to avoid fees
  • limited number of checks during each statement cycle
Certificate of Deposit (CD) enables you to loan your money to a bank/credit union for a set amount of time
  • bank pays set interest rate on your money
  • when CD “matures” the bank returns the full amount plus accumulated interest
  • interest can be higher than saving
  • in order to earn high interest you have to agree to a longer maturity date (6 months to over a year)
  • if you take out before the maturity date, you’ll get a penalty

Questions to ask a bank before opening an account:

  • What types of accounts do you offer?
  • What are the fees, minimum balance requirements, and interest rates associated with each account?
  • What is the bank's policy on overdraft and what are the fees associated with them?
  • What types of online banking services are available?
  • Where are the ATM and branch locations? What are the fees associated with out of network ATM usage?
  • Are you FDIC insured and what security measures does the bank take to protect personal information?

SMART Goal SettingArrow in targetArrow in Target

The SMART goal is a framework for setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This helps individuals create goals that are well-defined and have a clear path to success.
Specific: Define exactly what you want to achieve.
Measurable: You can track your progress and determine whether or not you have achieved it.
Achievable: You should have the ability and resources to accomplish it.
Relevant: It should align with your personal or professional values.
Time-bound: It should have a specific deadline or timeframe for completion

Example SMART Goal:

I want to save $500 in the next 5 months to build my emergency fund. I will save $50 from each paycheck. I will record my progress every payday on my chart.

Have questions? Want more individualized support with saving and goal setting? Click here to meet with a mentor!

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