Fiscal
- Page 8
What's your savings plan?
So you’ve got a budget and good spending sense. Now you need to plan how to save. Savings, after all, offer you protection against life’s little surprises that would otherwise put you in a tough financial spot.

Your savings plan doesn’t need to reach such incredible heights that it becomes unattainable. It’s easy to get swept up in lofty financial plans that, in the end, will only become a source of disappointment if you don’t achieve them.

Where to Start
The National Endowment for Financial Education’s website Smart About Money offers the following tips to make sure you’re building a solid savings plan:

• List savings as a fixed item in your spending plan. You’re less likely to spend money you already have earmarked.
• Use automatic savings tools from your bank or other financial institutions. Some will move your spare change from purchases into your savings account automatically, making it easy to increase your savings without much effort.
• Save all or part of a certain type of income. This can include your tax refund, annual bonus, tip money or extra freelancing cash.
• Create an emergency fund with the goal of having three to six months of expenses covered. This can buy you and your family some time if there were to be an unexpected injury or job loss that hampered your incoming cash flow.

Accountability
What good does a savings plan do for you if you don’t stick with it? Find an accountability partner to routinely check in on your finances to make sure you’re staying the course. This can be your spouse, a trusted friend or a qualified financial professional who can help you stay on track.

If you ask for accountability, however, be prepared to have some tough conversations. Your accountability partner is there to help you maintain your discipline, so be prepared to accept his or her questions and advice along the way.

Different Types of Accounts
Once you have enough money stashed away, there are many different ways to put it to work for you. Talk to your bank about interest-bearing savings accounts that can earn you money, but may have withdrawal or other limits. There also are CDs and other investment options to explore. — Green Shoot Media