It is time for the Mini Mommy Lecture on Savings Accounts. I know it can be difficult when you are raising a family to eek out the money to put aside in a savings account, but you need to do it.
Studies consistently show that most American families do not have enough savings. I do better than most, with a little over $3000 in my savings at any given time – but that is not enough. Plus, a little over $1000 of that is part of Baby Girl’s savings, which will remain untouched in all but the most dire of circumstances.
We have a little wiggle room in the budget, so I am talking about this from a place of some privilege. However, I found that the easiest way to start a savings account is to sign up for one from the same bank that holds your checking account, and start auto-drafting a small amount of money each month. My bank has a minimum of $25, but doing so also waves any fees that might be attached to the account. Work with that small amount for a month or two, and if you feel comfortable with how it impacted your budget, increase it by some small amount, until you feel that you are saving a reasonable amount each month. Currently, we put aside $100, but I am hoping to increase it to $125 or $150 next month.
We did have to re-evaluate some of our spending habits to accomplish this, but with shopping smarter and reducing some (but not all!) of our more frivolous spending, we have managed it. And it has honestly been such a freeing thing! When I popped a tire last Spring, we had the money in the account to replace it – saving us interest payments on a credit card, or worse – lost income from not being able to get to work! Likewise, when we had to have some unexpected work done to the house – we had the money.
Just make sure there’s a plan to replace that money down the road!