Whether you are still in school, just entered the working world, own a business, or are nearing retirement, saving money is one of the most valuable decisions you can make for your financial health. Most people are aware of this, but when it comes down to it, saving and investing can sometimes be a little daunting. Where do you start? When do you start? Start right here with our new year savings strategies.

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to saving. There are many options, but the most important thing is that you are doing it. And contrary to what some might believe, it is never too late to start saving!

If you’re looking for some straightforward ways to make the most out of your money and save smart, our smart new year savings strategies will set you on the right path.

Make saving a fundamental habit.

While it is true that it’s never too late to start saving, the sooner you can start the better. If you can save anything at all, even if it’s $20 here and there, commit to putting it away as often as you can. This could be in a savings account, money market account, IRA, or other account where you won’t be tempted to spend it (or spend it on accident) like you would in a checking account or in cash.

If you find it difficult to make saving a manual habit, you can set up your accounts to do it automatically. For example, determine how much money you’d be able to reasonably set aside every week, month, or quarter, then create an automatic money transfer between your checking and savings account that will pull that money out for you at regular intervals. If you do this, you won’t even “see” the money from the get-go and won’t consider it spendable.

Find ways to cut your expenses.

Expenses can easily get away from us without even realizing it. Of course, set-in-stone expenses like rent, mortgage, utilities, car payments, etc. won’t have much wiggle room. However, reviewing your monthly budget may reveal that you are spending more than you thought on food and drinks, entertainment, vacations, or other “non-essential” expenses.

This does not mean that you should completely cut out entertainment expenses for your own daily enjoyment. But many people don’t realize there are several expenses they can be minimizing, even fractionally. Perhaps you can drop your coffee runs from daily to two or three times a week. Or maybe you are paying for a monthly streaming service or other subscription that you are no longer using.

Keeping on top of your budget (and how it fluctuates every month) will help you identify areas where you can turn “unnecessary” expenses into monthly savings, no matter how big or small!

Set goals for yourself.

Regardless of how much or how little you can set aside for savings, having clearly defined goals will help you stick to a plan. Saving goals can come in all shapes and sizes — for example, maybe you have a set total you’d like to save within a certain time period, like $10,000 by the end of next year. Or, your goals may look more incremental, like committing to $50 a month for six months and increasing to $100, and so on and so forth.

Putting concrete goals into place is another great way to turn your new year savings strategies into habits versus one-off acts whenever you remember.

Talk to a banker or financial advisor to stay on track.

As with any financial journey, having the support of a financial professional can take lots of weight off your shoulders and help you feel confident that you are planning for your future in ways that work best for you. These new year savings strategies are a great place to start, but an advisor can help you put long-term goals into place, make recommendations for the best savings and investment accounts, and help you curate a program based on your unique financial goals.

At Republic Bank of Chicago, our bankers and financial advisors are committed to setting you up for your ideal financial future and making it easy for you to reach your goals. If you have more questions about saving strategies or would like to set up an appointment with one of our team members, reach out to us at 800-526-9127 or learn more about our savings solutions!

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