Savings should be an integral part of budget planning. If you think about it, a budget is simply a list of payees. Listing yourself as the first payee makes perfect sense. After all, it’s your hard-earned cash being divided up and sent away. In setting budget goals, a tracking process will help you determine whether your day-to-day spending habits are healthy ones and will help curb the temptation to spend beyond your means. This process will allow you more room to set money aside to fulfill your goals.
Regions has several options to help you in setting and attaining savings goals. It is important to remember when setting goals to be specific. Reaching your goals will be easier if you can measure your progress against a deadline and dollar amount.
Short-term savings goals, such as money needed for a down payment on a new car, furniture or a vacation, can be achieved by making regular contributions to an Regions savings account. Arrange direct deposit through your employer so that a portion of your paycheck automatically goes into your Regions savings account every time you are paid. Regions also offers interest bearing checking account options that pay you interest on your balances. Both of these saving tools are safe and easy ways to earn interest and are insured by the FDIC.
For medium-term savings goals that involve larger sums of money to be used for items such as a down payment for a home and improvement to your home, Regions offers money market and certificate of deposit accounts, or CDs. Money markets pay a fluctuating rate of interest based on market changes. CDs guarantee your principal deposit and grow at a locked interest rate. You may choose to “ladder” your CDs–purchase a 6-month, 12-month and 18-month CD. At the end of each term if the rate has increased you can roll over your CD for another term, but if the rate is lower you may decide to cash in and invest elsewhere.
Long-term savings goals should be the heart of your savings plan. These funds should be the least liquid and the most lofty. This is the money you will use to fund your retirement and your child’s college education. An Regions IRA program can help meet your long-term saving needs. We offer a variety of IRA options.
We understand that saving isn’t always easy. It requires discipline, a significant amount of planning, and possibly even budget cuts. The benefits seem far into the future while the sacrifice is immediate. Try to keep the tangible reward in mind. Imagine what it is you’d like to be doing when you retire and picture it often. If you wish to retire to the sunny shores of some remote island, download a screen saver of a tropical paradise, or tape a photo of your dream car to the inside of your closet door. Saving takes persistence and constant maintenance, but the rewards are worth every penny.