Saturday, December 21, 2013

Save Automatically

I just set up my 52 Week Savings Challenge to fund automatically. The original challenge has changing deposit amounts every week, $12 for week 12 for example. That doesn't lend itself to be set up automatically, unless your bank would let you set up multiple transfers. I suppose that is worth checking. Since my modified 52 Week Savings Challenge is the same amount twice per month on payday, it is perfect for an automatic transfer.

I am saving these funds in my Capital One 360 Savings account. Capital One 360 has a place to input goals, so you can track your progress. I put this new savings goal in there. Since I have $67 of the $1378 I expect to save, the tool shows I have saved 4% of my goal. And there is a nifty little chart to see the progress too! Such fun for a money geek like me.

After I set up the goal, it asked me about setting up an automatic transfer to help meet my goal. Why, yes, yes, I would like to do that! My transfer will be $57 on the 1st & 15th of the month beginning in January. When payday comes around, I will simply record the transfer in primary checking account. That is it, everything else is automatic.

We have been saving automatically for retirement and college for many, many years. We have never stopped our retirement savings, and one time, for less than a year, we stopped the college funding. When the funds come out automatically, you don't need to stop to evaluate if that is how you want to allocate your money. It just happens, and you record it. And the even bigger beauty of automatic savings is that you always meet the goal you set out to accomplish. It feels good to meet your savings goal, so why not set yourself up for success. At least that is how I look at it.

I also plan to set up an extra principal payment to our mortgage on an automatic basis. Our housing allowance is increasing by $102 per month. Since one of our biggest goals is to reduce our mortgage balance, I have the $102 applied to the principal balance automatically each month. If I set this up when the increase is effective, we won't get used to that extra money. That means in the next year, I know for sure we will pay an additional $1224 in principal. Love that!!

Do you save for anything automatically? What other benefits do you think automatic savings provide?

The above link to Capital One 360 is my referral link. You are eligible to earn up to $75 in bonus cash if you open a new account. I receive $20 for referring you, and do not receive any information about you or the type of account you have opened.

Friday, December 20, 2013

52 Weeks Of Saving

If you are a saver, like me, you may have heard about the 52 Week Savings Challenge that has been making the rounds of the internet in the last year. I did not participate last year. But this year I am!!

The link above explains the challenge in detail, but by the end of the year if you follow the plan you will have saved $1378. I know we could be saving more, thus the reason I am participating and adding this as another way to save during the year. I will still be on the lookout for small (or large) amounts of money that don't come from income, which I call snowflakes, and be saving those to help pay down our mortgage.

I have already started. Some of you may not start until January. I have $67 saved so far.  That does seems like quite a bit for the beginning doesn't it? Well, I'm tweaking the challenge to work with how we get paid, which is twice monthly. I made an initial $10 deposit, since I had that much cash in my wallet earlier this month. That left me with $1,368 to save. Twice per month paydays, means 24 pay periods. Thus I will save $57 per pay period 24 times in the coming year to save that $1,368. One has already been completed, so really 23 left to go, and $1,311 left to save.

Interested in participating in the challenge? Click on that link above for a way to track your savings challenge for the year, or tweak it to make it work for you. Sometimes having a goal for savings and a way to track it is very first step in making it happen.