Bumping up a savings account

Once you have opened a savings account, usually with a minimum beginning deposit of anywhere from $500 to $1000, the problem of growing it becomes a never-ending consideration. Unless you do make an effort to increase the amount kept in a savings account, the advantage of keeping money there diminishes day by day. Inflation takes care of that; unless the amount deposited can earn interest commensurate with the rate of inflation, the account’s real value will decrease accordingly.

The person wishing to increase a savings account balance has a few good options for doing so. It does, however, require a consistency of application to the option or options chosen. Regular maintenance of a savings account, while calling for steady and timely attention, will prove of utmost importance to its welfare.

For starters, try to formulate a plan or reason for having a savings account in the first place: vacation, new car, home remodeling, etc. Visualize the completion or realization of the goal. Each time the thought of the savings account comes up so should a strong vision of the goal. This visualization helps focus the mind on those practices that will help grow the savings account.

One simple way to grow a savings account comprises nothing more complicated than a large glass bottle or jar. Affix a label on the side of the jar reading “Car,” “Home” or “Vacation.” Into this jar empty all the coins from pocket or purse acquired during each shopping trip. The clear glass permits a clear picture of the growing pile of coins. When the jar nears the full mark, convert the coins into cash and deposit this money in the savings account.

A second way to grow the savings account also requires little effort on the part of the saver. First, arrange to have all or most payroll checks earned by family members deposited in a checking account, interest bearing if possible. Second, have the bank periodically move a set amount of money from the checking account to the savings account. Many people find this a preferred and painless way to grow a savings account. To begin with, the sum of money moved into the savings account probably should not amount to more than ten percent of the overall household income.

A third way to set aside money for a savings account may prove a bit more difficult to achieve. It requires a good deal of discipline and self denial. If a restaurant meal has become a twice-a-week affair, for instance, plan to spend only one night eating out each week. Note the amount spent and allocate that same amount to place in the savings account. It’s merely a matter of deciding that the savings account is more important than an extra visit to a restaurant. Depending on the individual household’s current spending habits, many other similar expenditures may become fodder for the growing savings account.

One encouraging thing the savings account holder needs to remember, too, is that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures savings accounts up to $100,000. This makes a growing savings account not only a good place to stash money for special purposes, but a safe place to keep it.

Ben Franklin said it: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”