6 Ways to Ramp Up Savings

There’s no shortage of alarming news about savings and retirement shortfalls.

  • A 2020 study by the Federal Reserve showed that 40 percent of all respondents didn’t have the money to handle a $400 emergency.
  • TD Ameritrade found that 37 percent of respondents in a 2020 study are living paycheck to paycheck.
  • And 46 percent of American have saved less than $10,000, according to the 2020 Retirement Savings survey by GoBanking.

Maybe you’re in a similar situation.

Rather than letting such news paralyze you or lull you into complacency — I’m ok because everyone else is in the same boat—take action.

After all, there’s also no shortage of advice about cutting expenses, building an emergency fund, and saving for a house, college, or your golden years.

Slow and steady

You’ve likely heard that small financial improvements made over a long period can add up to solid savings. Here are six strategies. Consider them in the context of your lifestyle and decide what
changes you’d be able to do for the long haul and what would deliver the greatest impact.

1. Self-audit. Track your expenses for a month and do a self-audit. What’s necessary? What can you reduce or eliminate? Can you shop around and find better rates for your cell phone, cable,
insurance, and your mortgage? Start bringing lunch to work, make your own coffee every morning and cut down on buying sports, craft and hobby gear.

2. Insurance. Shop around for better insurance rates. Also consider raising your deductible on your car, homeowner’s, and renter’s policy.

3. Car-free living. Total the expenses—monthly payments, insurance, licenses, maintenance, and gas—of owning a car and see how much you could save by using other options. Those
include Uber or Lyft, public transit, and car share memberships.

4. Avoid debt. Stop making impulse purchases, avoid putting big-ticket items, like TVs and new cell phones, on your credit cards, and go on a spending diet.

5. Cut your energy bill. Reduce your electric and gas consumption to cut your utility bills every single month. You can try simple strategies like using a programmable thermostat and power cords, as well as bigger projects like improving your home’s insulation. Consider signing up for ComEd’s hourly pricing program to further reduce your electricity costs.

6. Find advice. Liberty Bank is here to help you with creating a budget, developing savings strategies, assessing your mortgage, and finding the savings and retirement accounts that best fit
your goals. Call 773.384.4000 to discuss your options and set up an appointment.

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