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Get Started Saving

PayDayHawaii is proud to work with America Saves this week–we’ll be focusing on ways to save or not waste money with blog posts every day this week!

When you have bills to pay, it’s hard to think about saving and setting aside a little each month for the future.

But just think of the last time you had a financial emergency: An unexpected car repair, a medical expense, or a large insurance deductible, or expenses that were not covered.

Think about things you would like to—or need to—get: A new car, a home repair, a computer, or even just a special movie and dinner night out.

And finally, think about larger expenses you want to be prepared for in the future: College or training, a medical procedure, a vacation, or even retirement.

Sound overwhelming? Not if you take it one simple step at a time.

Set Your Budget

We’ve talked about establishing your income and expense budget here, and you can download a budget template on our website here. All you have to do is fill it in! Once you do that, you can see where you have opportunities to save.

Finding Money to Save

We’ll give you a good start with suggestions on easy ways to save, from bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out, to negotiating better rates on some of your bills (cable, for example). And there’s more! Save all or part of your tax refund. Think about other ways you can set aside $5, $10, or $20 at a time. Start with stashing all the coin change you bring home in your pocket or purse. Small amounts count!

The Interest Advantage

How to get free money? By putting at least some of your savings where it will earn interest. And especially compound interest—where you earn interest (money added to your savings account) on top of both your original savings amount plus the interest that you’ve previously earned. Interest on your interest!

An easy way to start: With a NetSpend prepaid debit card. NetSpend offers a 5.00% interest (Annual Percentage Yield)—one of the highest interest rates in the country.

Now Set Your Goals

You can save more by having a goal in mind. Visualizing what you want to save for gives your savings a purpose; otherwise you may be tempted to withdraw from what you’ve saved. But once you have a goal in place, you know that taking money out of your savings is taking away from that ultimate goal.

Your savings goals can be small or large, and you can even have more than one. Maybe you want to put money into an emergency savings fund AND want to start saving for a car or house purchase. That’s fine—just set up both, and make sure you contribute regularly to both.

Keep track of what you are spending (here’s where your budget comes in) and what you are saving. Nothing motivates you more than seeing those savings add up!

America Saves is a campaign managed by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America. It seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.

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