We've all experienced those “life happens" moments, from surprise car repairs to unexpected medical bills. While we can't predict the events that life throws our way, we can plan for them!
Saving for “now" means having money set aside to cover any immediate changes to your income or sudden spikes in your expenses. The general rule of thumb is to save three to six months' worth of living expenses to help you respond to an emergency or life change without creating excess debt or missing important bills. Because you'll need your “Now" savings quickly in the event of an emergency or life change, keep them in a safe, easily accessible account such as a Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU) TrueSaver® savings account or Money Market Account.
So, how can you save up for the unexpected while still enjoying the present? We have some tips to help! Read on for a few simple ways to start saving better for today.
#1: Save before you spend
It's a common practice to wait until the end of the month and just save whatever is leftover in your account. The problem is that without a clear goal, there may not be much left to save. But there's a better way! “Pay yourself first" by setting aside the amount you want to save at the beginning of the month or after each payday. Then, you're free to spend the money that's left.
#2: Skip a latte
Small, frequent purchases like to-go coffees and snacks can add up quickly. You don't have to eliminate these expenses entirely but cutting back a little will free up some money you can put towards your emergency fund each month.
#3: Save your spare change
You could collect coins in a bowl or jar, but did you know that you can also save your “spare change" with your WPCU debit card?
When you sign up for our EasySaver® debit card round-up program, every purchase you make with your WPCU debit card is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference is deposited into your EasySaver account. It's an easier, smarter way to save!
#4: Make the most of unexpected money
Extra money is always a welcome surprise! Maybe it's a larger-than-expected tax refund, a gift, bonus or even a stimulus check. Consider using at least some of this extra money to boost your emergency fund.
#5: Put your savings on autopilot
Set up automatic transfers to your savings account around your paydays or on a weekly or monthly basis. This way, you don't even have to think about saving—it will happen automatically! WPCU's Mobile and Online Banking makes it easy to schedule recurring transfers between your accounts.
Enjoy life while saving for the unexpected
Focusing on saving better doesn't mean you can't spend money on the things you love. By changing just a few of your money habits, you can live the life you want to live today while being prepared for whatever tomorrow brings.
Ready for more money-saving tips and tools? Visit our online Education Center for helpful budgeting worksheets, videos, interactive learning modules and other resources to help you achieve greater financial flexibility and freedom.