We all know that building savings is one of the keys to financial stability, but remembering to put part of each paycheck into a savings account can feel like a chore. Automatic savings plans are a great way to build strong savings habits without the extra effort.
Successful saving requires good financial habits more than specific amounts of funds. Repeated deliberate actions — like transferring funds into your savings account each pay day — help us to create these good habits, but often the pressures and responsibilities of the day-to-day get in the way of our progress.
It’s also difficult to think about the long-term when the activity of the present competes for our attention. By the end of the day, our “future selves” are at the bottom of our list of priorities.
When we decide to save some of our income, we’re also deciding when and how much to put away for the future. Having to make these decisions repeatedly on top of all the others we make throughout the day — what psychologists call 'decision fatigue' — can make saving feel like even more of a chore.
Automatic savings plans can be a powerful tool to both make your life easier and build your wealth. Because you only need to sign up for your automatic savings plan once, there’s no need to carefully consider whether to put away that extra cash or not. Additionally, because you make all the savings decisions at the beginning, you've pre-committed to prioritizing your future financial goals.
Self-Help members can get started in three easy ways:
- You can work with your employer to set up a direct deposit transfer from your paycheck directly to your savings account. This method only requires you to provide your SHCU account and routing numbers to your employer for depositing a portion of your paycheck into your savings account.
- You can also use SHCU’s convenient online banking platform to set up a recurring transfer from your SHCU checking account into your savings account, or transfer funds from another financial institution.
- If you’d like personalized assistance, one of our branch or member services staff can work with you to set up an automated transfer either from your SHCU checking account or from another financial institution.
Once you’ve set up your automatic savings plan, consider these other ways to help maximize your savings:
- Bucket your savings to get ahead of expenses you know are coming up, like college tuition, vacations, or home repairs.
- Name your savings accounts to remind you of your financial goals and add fun to the savings process.
- Take advantage of tax refunds and raises to boost your savings beyond the regular paycheck amount.
Want to tackle even more financial goals? As a Self-Help Credit Union member, you have access to free, one-on-one financial coaching.