The title of this post isn’t to suggest that money matters, though it definitely does to many of us and for that reason is also the source of our constant suffering. We either never have enough or it never lasts long when we do have it.
What I really wanted to suggest was the following definition:
1. the substance or substances of which any physical object consists or is composed: the matter of which the earth is made.
2. physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, especially as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.
3. something that occupies space.
4. a particular kind of substance: coloring matter.
5. a situation, state, affair, or business: a trivial matter.
MAKE MONEY A RESOLUTION!
As the end of the year quickly approaches, many of us will start thinking about how to make 2013 better, or we’ll set New Year resolutions which we are sure to forget about or overlook by the end of January. For the past two or three years, I’ve set some sort of financial resolution to put focus on throughout the year, and I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping up with it all 12 months. For the most part, my resolution usually involved something along the lines of saving money – whether that be in an account or just by clipping coupons.
While giving some thought to what I wanted to do different next year, I decided to share some of my tips here on my blog. I am by no means a financial expert. I have credit card debt, a student loan, and a car payment. So, take my advice for what it’s worth. If anything, it’s free! Over the next few days, I’m going to share some useful financial tips with you and show you how to incorporate them into saving money, or turning money into matter for you in 2013.
SPREAD YOUR MONEY AROUND!
Most of us have a checking account. We have direct deposit, or we pay our bills directly from it. We have a debit card linked to it too. But do you have a savings account? If not, you should start 2013 by opening one. I actually have four! Yep…four different savings accounts:
- My first savings account is linked directly to my checking account and is issued through the same bank. When I am doing internet banking, I can move money from checking to savings or back within seconds. I’ll explain the importance of this shortly.
- My second savings is a money market account also linked to my checking account from the same issuing bank. Like #1, I can move money in and out of it easily. More about money market accounts in a moment too.
- I have another money market account that is issued through Capital One because I have two credit cards with them also. More about this account in a moment.
- I have a savings account with an online credit union, with which I also have a checking account as well.
Now let me explain why so many!
First, the savings account linked to my everyday checking – I’ve always kept a savings account with every bank I’ve ever banked with. I always occasionally move money to it, but my current bank requires a small monthly amount be automatically transferred. So, I have this set to $25 on the last day of each month. That may be too much for some of you who live on a tight budget, but check with your bank to see if there is even a minimum. If not, you might choose to set yours lower.
I like the easy access to this money because if I need quick cash or need a small bit to float me through to the next pay day, I can move this money over to my checking account with just a few clicks. I’ve also dipped into this account to cover money when I balanced my money too tight and was afraid I might be overdrawn. I’d also like to add that I rarely have more than $100 in this account at one time. Yep, I dip into it quite often, but it acts as a small reserve for me and that is the purpose I have set in place for this account.
Second, the money market account linked to my primary checking and savings – this account was just set up this year because it was free through my bank. Money market accounts are important because they draw higher interest. I haven’t been putting much into this account this year, and have even borrowed from it when money was tight and my savings account was empty. But, I do plan to feed this account a bit more next year. My other money market account is used more often, and here’s why…
My Capital One money market account gets more use because it is out of sight and out of mind. Yep. I log into my bank’s website several times a week, so the three accounts I have with them are frequently in front of me. I rarely log into my Capital One account so I don’t always see that money market account with them. I also have automated transactions set up with them (though they are not required) to take $25 out of each paycheck and move it into this account. Like I said before, money market accounts draw higher interest. I try very hard not to touch this money throughout the year. When December rolls around, I use the money saved here to cover Christmas gifts for my family and to also cover my personal property taxes that people here in Missouri have to pay each year. Now, I only get paid every other week. That’s 26 paychecks a year. But at $25 each check, that equals $650 a year. Plus, a couple of dollars in interest if you leave money in there. So, this account is my primary savings account throughout the year.
My last savings account is with an online credit union with whom I have my car loan. They required the set-up of both a checking and savings account. I’ve fed very little into this account, but it’s there if I want to put it to use. It’s also another account that is out of sight and out of mind because I rarely have to log into the credit union’s site.
SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!
It’s very important to spread your money around. Thornton Wilder said, “Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.” Well, in my case, that’s sort of true. My three primary savings accounts all have their purpose. My primary money market account grows throughout the year so that I have money during the holidays.
So, in closing, if you don’t have a savings account, start 2013 by opening one. Check with your bank or your credit card companies to see if they offer a high interest money market account. Ask them if there is a minimum automated amount that has to be deposited. If not, try to set up automated deposits. Think ahead and check the calendar and schedule them to coincide with each paycheck.
I had to borrow from my Capital One money market account earlier this year so right now there is only $400 in there, but that’s plenty to cover the gifts for my family and part of my personal property taxes that I mentioned. My credit union account only has $5 in it because I don’t use it much. But my primary bank’s savings is at $27 dollar and my money market account with them has $30 in it. That’s a total of $462 dollars saved and all that money is accessible to me if I need it.
So, my total savings right now is $462 for the year! We’ll add more to that tomorrow!
Tomorrow I’m going to post about clipping coupons. Yeah, it’s an easy thing to do that’s always right in front of us, but most of us rarely do it because “we don’t have time.” I’m going to show you some simple ways and give you some simple tips to take advantage of coupons. For now, let’s start your checklist for 2013…
RESOLUTION #1 FOR 2013: Open a savings account!