Save Automatically

The easiest and most effective way to save is automatically. This is how millions of employees save through 401(k) and other retirement programs at work. If you’re intimidated, remember what we say at America Saves: “Start Small, Think Big.”

How to Save Automatically

Automatic savings means you have a process in place to save at regular intervals, whether that’s monthly, weekly, or daily. There are two modes to save automatically: digital and analog.

If you want to save automatically, we suggest one of these three strategies:

  • Instruct your employer to direct a certain amount from your paycheck each pay period and transfer it to a retirement or savings account (or both). Traditionally, you can set this up using your employer’s direct deposit, ask your HR representative for more details and set this up today.
  • Every payday, your bank or credit union transfers a fixed amount from your checking account to a savings or investment account. Talk to your local bank or credit union to set this up.
  • Choose a day of the month or a regular interval, such as every 2 weeks, to transfer a set amount from your checking account to a savings vehicle. We particularly recommend this method for people with inconsistent income or those who access their pay frequently. Consider picking a lower dollar amount or a time of the month when many other automatic payments aren’t happening. Set this up with your bank or credit union.

Intimidated by digital automatic savings? Save automatically- the analog way:

  • Save your loose change. Every day, put all of the loose change from your pocket or purse into a jar, and don’t spend it. If that jar starts to look tempting, take it to your bank or credit union once a month to cash and deposit into a savings account. However, if you’ve got a big jar: there’s no harm in watching your automatic savings pile up- literally!

Why Automatic Savings Works

Over time, these automatic deposits add up. For example, $50 a month accumulates to $600 a year and $3,000 after five years, plus interest that has compounded. Soon you will be able to cover many unexpected expenses without putting them on your credit card or taking out a high-cost loan.

I Don’t Have enough Money to Save

If you’re still in the portion of your savings journey where you’re reducing debt (which is saving), then visit our resources to get out of debt.

Once you’ve reduced your debt, everyone has the ability to start to save up. At America Saves, we say “Start Small, Think Big.” You can start with only a small amount, and you can save daily, weekly, or monthly. Over time, your deposits will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future.

Saving Automatically Flyer

Download the Saving Automatically Flyer.

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Let this be the year that you put an end to bringing in the New Year with financial guilt and stress.  http://ow.ly/rcJIn 

Share Your Tip or Story

And if we feature you in our newsletter, you get $25.

Share

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Developing a Savings "Game Plan"

Eunice Diaz, a teacher in Colorado Springs, had been noticing a pattern. Despite the fact that she and her husband were “making good money,” they were spending their entire earnings and “were still struggling at the end of the month.”

Read more...

Budget like Nohemi

Nohemi found out about America Saves a few years ago as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She remembers attending a University of Illinois Saves event where she decorated a piggy bank and took the Pledge, but college life made her put the thought of saving at the back of her mind. Those thrifty thoughts resurfaced when she graduated with a degree in public health.

Read more...

Starting and Continuing a Personal Finance Journey

When Kiara Hardin, now a junior at Western Illinois University, became an intern with the Chicago Summer Business Institute during her sophomore year of high school, she began her personal finance journey. The program required participants to open a savings account.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Sign Up