savings

5 steps to boost your savings account

Give yourself regular checkups
Give yourself regular checkups © yelbuke/Shutterstock.com

Having a healthy savings account is just like maintaining your physical health.

"You need that regular scorecard that keeps track of your spending and helps you reconcile that to your net pay," McBride says. "That's how you'll really determine if you're living within your means."

Many Americans are failing to keep that scorecard. According to a 2012 survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs, just 17 percent of young adults monitor their bank accounts on a daily basis, and 4 out of 10 adults never check their retirement account balances.

"You've got to hold yourself accountable," McBride says. "If you overspend one month, that impacts your progress toward your goal. The accountability factor forces you to find a way to correct yourself if you're going off course."

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