Three ways to create a disciplined savings strategy

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How do you create a savings strategy for the years ahead? Your savings can do a lot more for you than just protect you from the unexpected. It can help you feel more secure about retirement, purchase a second home or even fund the trip of a lifetime.
1) Be strategic
Focus on being strategic and creative with your money—and making sure your cash is earning the most it can—with the right combination of accounts, including:
  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Money market
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
For instance, compare a scenario with actual money market accounts at two different banks and how they affect the interest earned with a $25,000 opening deposit. One bank offers 0.06% APY, and the other 0.70% APY.*

That’s a dramatic difference over the course of a year. Imagine having an extra $160.61 in your pocket, just because you were strategic about where you kept your savings.

2) Know the fees you’re paying
Earning more starts with spending less—and that includes what you spend for your banking services. Be smart about where you put your money. Take a close look at your bank’s fee structures. Many banks advertise free checking, but then make up the difference by charging you fees for things such as:
  • Using an ATM
  • Being inactive
  • Using a teller at a branch
  • Not having a minimum balance

Each individual fee may not be much on its own, but when you look at them together, they can add up quickly and eat away at your savings. So evaluate all the different ways your bank could be charging you and consider switching banks if it seems too much. You can even look for a bank that offers interest-bearing checking accounts. It may seem inconvenient to switch banks, but a one-time decision to move your money to a bank with fewer, or no, hidden fees can mean you’ll have more potential income through the years.
3) Be smart about where you keep your money
Striving to spend only what you need to is the foundation of a savings plan, but it should be just the beginning of your overall strategy. If you don’t move your money around strategically, you could be losing out in the long run. Put your money where it has the opportunity to grow. Your checking account should hold only as much as you need for day-to-day needs—the rest of your savings can grow faster in an account that was designed to hold a bigger balance and earn more APY, such as a money market account.
Ways we can help
Your TIAA advisor can take your needs and objectives into account and help guide you toward achieving your overall savings goals. Whether it makes sense to review your bank account fees or get ideas on ways to navigate your savings strategy, your advisor can connect you with a deposit consultant at TIAA Direct to help you put together an effective plan that works for your needs.
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