Become Savings Savvy
Much like diet and exercise, becoming more financially healthy is a process that requires focus and commitment. Becoming savings savvy won’t happen overnight but sticking to a savings plan is a big part of planning for your financial future.
It helps to make small changes and commit to short-term goals. We are here to help you save with interest-earning accounts, digital tools to help you save more, and team members who can answer all your savings questions.
Set Savings Goals – Setting achievable goals is one of the first steps to success in any project, and your finances are no exception. You should set short-, mid- and long-term financial goals and make a plan to achieve them.
Short-term goals can be achieved in one or two years. Whether your short-term goals are to pay o your car early, save for a big trip or pay down your credit card debt, make sure every goal has a specific purpose, a dollar amount it will cost, and a realistic target date.
No matter their length, all of your financial goals should be realistic and flexible. If you set your goals too high, frustration will keep you from reaching them. If you set a long-term goal, set some shorter goals to help you get there. For example, if you’re saving for a down payment on a house, set an annual goal for saving and celebrate when you achieve that goal each year.
Open a Savings Account – Open a Chambers Bank savings account with as little as $100 and start your savings plan (or a Christmas Club account with as little as $10). Transfer a portion of each paycheck into your savings account to prepare for emergencies and save for trips and other major expenses. By using the auto transfer feature in Chambers Online Banking, you can schedule a transfer to automatically occur every pay day! Check out our list of accounts and see which one works best for you.
Start an Emergency Fund – An emergency fund is an essential part of a solid financial plan. This is money earmarked for unexpected events like job loss, costly car repairs, or medical bills. You should ideally have enough in your emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of expenses, but if that doesn’t seem possible, start small. Open a savings account with $100 and then work your way up to covering several months of expenses to give yourself some peace of mind.
Download our Personal Finance Tool – Not sure where to start? The Chambers Personal Finance tool can help you understand where you are financially and create both short- and long-term goals to improve your financial health. Personal Finance is available at no additional charge to all Chambers Online and Mobile Banking customers. Learn more about our Personal Finance tool.
We're here to help you save
Be prepared for your financial future today with a savings plan. We've compiled some resources to help you get started. Need more help? Just give us a call or visit one of our local branches to chat with a Customer Service Representative. We're here to help you save.
- Emergency Fund Calculator (Excel file with formulas)
- Emergency Fund Calculator (pdf)
- Save $1,000 in one year (pdf)
- Save $5,000 in one year (pdf)
Emergency Fund: What it is and why it matters
An emergency fund is an account with money set aside for large, unexpected expenses like home or car repairs, medical expenses or unemployment. Financial experts recommend that you keep your emergency fund in a savings account so that you have quick access to the money should you need it and to keep it separate from your general checking account used for everyday and household expenses. A savings account can also earn nominal interest.
An emergency fund can provide a buffer during times of unforeseen financial need without relying on credit cards or high-interest loans. Most importantly, it can provide peace of mind knowing that you're prepared for unexpected expenses at any time.
If starting an emergency fund seems daunting, start small. Save $100 and open a savings account. Then devote a small percentage of each paycheck to your emergency fund until you have $500 in your emergency fund. Also consider allocating a portion of any extra money you may get to your emergency fund – set aside some of your tax refund, Christmas bonus or birthday money to go toward those unexpected expenses.
Once you have $500, your next goal should be to have enough in your emergency fund to cover one month of expenses. Then work your way up to three months of expenses and, eventually, six months of expenses. By giving yourself small, achievable goals to reach, you can build your emergency fund before you know it.
Saving for Christmas, travel and other anticipated expenses
While an emergency fund provides coverage for unexpected expenses, it's also smart to save for planned expenses. Our Christmas Club account allows you to save all year to pay for Christmas gifts or holiday travel, and you can open a Christmas Club account with as little as $10.
If you're planning a special vacation or have other anticipated expenses that are outside of your normal spending, consider opening a dedicated savings account. Having a separate account keeps you focused on saving and keeps you from spending those funds for everyday household expenses.
Teach your child to save
If you want your child to be savings savvy, consider a Youth Savings account. There is no minimum monthly balance, and you can open a Youth Savings account with as little as $10. By encouraging your child to deposit money received for birthdays, holidays and graduation gifts into their savings account, you can help instill a lifetime of financial literacy.