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We all know the importance of saving money, but life’s daily demands can sometimes make it challenging to consistently set aside funds.
Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue with an innovative solution: automatic transfers. Using the tool of automation, you can effortlessly grow your savings and gain ground on your financial goals. Many banks with online banking also come with automatic transfer features — or, you could download a savings app and link your bank account to take advantage of this tool.
Here are five ways you can use automatic transfers to ensure that your savings continue to grow even when life gets hectic.
1. Direct deposit split
A simple way to start saving automatically is by setting up a direct deposit split for your paychecks. Direct deposit split allocates a portion of your paycheck directly into a savings account before the funds hit your main checking account.
You can typically designate a specified percentage or amount to be allocated for each direct deposit. For example, if your paycheck is $3,000, you could designate 10 percent ($300) to be automatically transferred to a savings account.
2. Recurring savings transfers
Many bank accounts come with the option to schedule automatic transfers at predetermined intervals, such as weekly, biweekly or monthly. These transfers can be customized to fit your budget and savings objectives.
Consider setting up a recurring transfer to coincide with your payday to ensure that a fixed amount is automatically moved to your savings account. For instance, you could schedule a transfer of $100 from checking to savings every payday.
3. Round-up savings
Round-up savings programs allow you to automatically round up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar amount or an amount of your choice. The difference between the actual purchase price and the rounded-up amount is then transferred to your savings account.
At Ally Bank, for example, your change gets rounded up and then automatically transferred into a savings account once you’ve accumulated at least $5.
4. Goal-based transfers
By setting up automatic transfers specifically tailored to each of your savings goals, you can ensure that your savings align with your specific objectives. These goals might include building an emergency savings fund, saving for a down payment on a house or funding your child’s education.
While it can be helpful to have multiple savings accounts for different savings priorities, you also may be able to set up specified savings categories, or “buckets,” within a single savings account. Then, you can determine how much you want to contribute to each goal and set up automatic transfers into the designated category, tracking your progress along the way.
Huntington Bank’s Savings Goal Getter is one example of a goal-based automatic savings tool. It allows customers to create different savings goals and then recommends easy amounts to add to each goal on a regular basis.
5. Investing spare change
Several mobile apps offer micro-investing features that allow you to invest spare change from your everyday purchases. These apps link to your checking account, track your transactions and round up each purchase to the nearest dollar, automatically investing the difference in a diversified portfolio.
These investment options spread your funds across a range of securities, such as stocks and bonds, which can help reduce risk. While the risk may be relatively low due to the diversification of funds, market fluctuations can still affect the value of your investments.
Acorns, Stash and Betterment are a few investing apps that offer automated micro-investing features.
Incorporating automatic transfers into your financial routine can be a game-changer when it comes to saving money consistently. Regularly contributing to savings is crucial for achieving financial stability, reaching long-term goals and protecting your finances against a potential recession, and having technology do that for you makes it all the easier.
Research savings accounts that come with the digital offerings you’re interested in, and make sure you’re earning a decent savings yield to make your money grow.