Build Your Savings Skills

How can I build strong saving skills?

Believe it or not,saving can be just as easy as spending. If you make saving an ongoing activity early in life, it will become a strong habit that will serve you for years to come.

Saving now can be the seed to your financial growth as an adult.

As you get older, your expenses will more than likely grow with you. Being prepared for these expenses through planning and good saving habits can help you overcome them with greater ease.

Building a savings plan or budget can be an easy way for you to determine how you can reach your short or long term goals. A budget or plan helps you track and manage necessary and
unnecessary expenses to keep spending within your limits and create opportunity to build your savings.

Set goals

Setting goals will help you monitor your progress toward an objective and actively see the results of your actions. You can set both short and long-term goals.

A short-term goal is an objective that can be reached within several months or a year. Examples of short-term goals might be saving for a new video game or a new pair of cleats for soccer.

A long term objective is often a goal that may take more than a year or several years to reach. Saving for your first car or for a college education are excellent examples of long-term goals.

Monitoring your progress along the way is an important part of reaching any goal. Checking your account activity on a regular basis will help you make choices and take actions to keep you on track.

When setting a long-term goal, it can be difficult to stay focused. To help you meet your objective, consider setting several short-term goals to help you reach your long-term objective. The short-term goals will act as stepping stones or check points to keep you motivated and reinforce your positive achievements.

How can the bank help you reach your goals?

A bank will help you store your money in safe place as you work toward your goals. Banks offer different types of products to help you save to help you reach your individual goals.

Whether you have a specific goal in mind or not, maintaining a savings account such as iStrive Savings, will help you not only put money away for safe-keeping, help it grow with interest, and help you be better prepared for whatever the future or your ambition may bring.

If you are preparing to save for a long term goal and don’t need unlimited access to the funds in your account, a CD or Money Market Account may help you reach your goal faster.

CD stands for Certificate of Deposit. This is a great option if you are looking to save and don’t need access to that money for a long period of time. CDs often pay an interest rate slightly higher than a savings account, but usually have requirements in addition to the length of the investment, such as a minimum deposit. CDs require you to invest your money for a set length of time and guarantee the same rate of return (interest) for that same length of time. You are not supposed to remove your money from the bank until that time is up. If you break the commitment by withdrawing your money before the end of the period, you may be required to pay a penalty.

Money Market Accounts allow your interest rate to change as your balance increases. Money Market accounts may have requirements of minimum balances, limited transactions and limited check-writing over a set period of time.

When considering the different savings products available, talk to your local banker about your goals. By being aware of your goals, the bank can help select the right savings product to get you there.

How do you know how much is in your savings account?

If you have iStrive Savings, NBT Bank can help you check your balance anywhere at any time with Online Banking and eStatements

Online Banking allows you to view and access your account through the internet. With Online Banking you can see your deposits and withdrawals as they occur allowing you to make more timely decisions about your budget and day-to-day finances.

To help you keep track of your deposits and withdrawals, the bank provides a listing of all of your account activity that happens over a set period of time—called an eStatement or an electronic bank statement. The eStatement will also show you how much money you had at the beginning of the period and how much you had at the end of that period. You can then see how your actions affect the growth of your balance. Typically, a period is defined as one month (monthly) or every three months (quarterly).

Your eStatement can be accessed though the bank’s secured website so your account information is accessible whenever you need it, but it’s also protected. At the end of every term or period, the bank typically sends you an e-mail to remind you that a new eStatement is available for your review.

To learn more about savings accounts such as iStrive Savings or other bank products that can help you save, contact your local branch today.