This post is brought to you by The Huntington National Bank and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
The Finances Series
As promised, this is part two of my “Let’s Talk Finances” blog series. You can read the first one about managing debt here. This post is more about how to save money to avoid going into debt in the first place. For me personally, even though I’m growing financially and learning the tools to be more financially stable, I still struggle with saving. I’m not really prepared for big emergencies and that’s scary. When I started my journey with Huntington Bank, my biggest goal was to become a better saver, prepare for emergencies, and map out all of my savings goals. If that sounds like you too, then you came to the right place to figure out how to get started.
Emergencies: You can’t plan them, but you can prepare for them!
A few months ago, my grandmother passed away. It was a really sad time for my family, but it was also a huge financial emergency. In most African cultures, children are expected to respect and care for their parents. So my mom had to fly home to Guinea, which means I had to help in any way I could. I took some funds and financed her trip. Fortunately, I still had some money in my new little savings account. But then just a few months later, my Dad had to take a trip back home as well. Between those emergencies and the expenses of running a business, you can see how quickly my savings account turned into another checking account.
My Savings Goals and Emergency Funds
The first thing you want to do when getting into saving is to lay out all your goals and potential expenses.
So my priorities look like this:
- Fatima Fund (I’m learning all about “generational wealth.” I want the girls to have some money saved for them when they go into the real world. Whether they need it for college or their first year of bills as adults, or even if they want to start a business in the future, I can’t wait to pass these accounts onto them.)
- Diari Fund (I’m keeping their accounts separate.)
- House Fund (This is for major renovations or issues that insurance may not cover. For example, even though it wasn’t an emergency, I wanted to put a backsplash in my kitchen because I didn’t want to stain the white walls. So, that was an out-of-pocket expense that would have been great to save for.)
- Travel Fund (This is also good for having a back-up in case you’re already on a trip and need more financial support.)
My Emergency Fund is for:
- Health Issues
- Job Complications
- Unexpected Travel (Like my mom and dad’s trip)
- Family Deaths
*And any other problems I can’t imagine right now that could impact my finances. Emergency funds don’t necessarily have to be specific, just there. Learn about what you can do in case of an emergency you didn’t prepare for here from Huntington Bank.
Tips & Tricks
When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can seem impossible to save for anything, even an emergency. But if you break down your goals, they can become more manageable. Want to save $1000 in a year? Try putting aside $20 every week and watch your money grow. That’s two trips of fast food, a night at the movies, or a shopping trip that you can sacrifice in order to save money.
Try some of these tips I’ve learned from banking with Huntington:
- When it comes to your emergency fund, try having at least three months’ worth of savings. It’s good to have backup in case something happens with your job.
- Start small (like I said, $10 or $20) and put it aside so you don’t notice it as much.
- Have a garage sale and put the money you earn in savings. That can help, especially if you’re just starting out.
- If you get a big check (like that tax refund I know y’all are waiting for lol), commit to setting half of it aside for savings.
- Look for other ways to make some extra cash. Check out some of these ideas from Huntington.
- Don’t be afraid to use some of your emergency funds if an emergency happens. That’s why it’s there! Just make sure you commit to setting it back up.
- Separating your accounts is the best thing you can do. That way, you can see what money is for what expenses.
- Sign up for tools like Huntington Bank’s Savings Goal GetterSM tool on The Hub.
How to Set up Savings Goal Getter
When I learned about the Huntington Savings Goal Getter tool on The Hub, I was excited to use it because I knew I needed help. The tool can really change the way you save money by showing you your Emergency Fund versus your Savings Goals, mapping out how much you need to save each month to reach your goals, and helping you stay on track.
I’m a visual learner so I love that the tool shows you how close you are to reaching your goals. You can set up to 10 goals and an emergency fund, which can help you with separating your money. Once you set the date you want to reach your goal by, the tool will track your progress and send you notifications (if you sign up for notifications, message and data rates may apply). It also prioritizes the Emergency Fund before putting money into your Savings Goals so you don’t have to.
Here’s how you set it up:
- First of all, apply fora Huntington Bank savings account and then download the Huntington mobile app too, so you can use The Hub tools.
- Sign into The Hub, via the mobile app and find Savings Goal Getter, then “get started.”
- Select the details of your goal. Decide whether it’s an Emergency Fund or Savings Goal, how much you want to set aside, and your goal date.
- And that’s it! Super easy. The Savings Goal Getter will do the rest by giving you recommendations and then allowing you to set up automatic or manual transfers from your Huntington savings or MMA account.
So what’re you waiting for?
How are you going to get started? What are some savings goals you have? If you’re comfortable, share an experience about an emergency you’d had that set you back. How did you handle it? What do you wish you would have done differently? In many of our cultures, it’s not typical to talk about money, let alone save it. Let’s break that cycle together. Let’s Talk About Finances!