At LendUp, we know that having some savings can help with an emergency or unexpected life expense. That’s why we believe that before paying bills, you should always pay yourself first. We even created a quick, fun financial education course on this very topic!

Having money set aside will put you on track for long-term life goals like pursuing continued education, financing a car or taking that well-deserved vacation. Remember, think about your short and long-term goals. Then, start a savings plan that works for you and your budget.

Here are some good tips to keep in mind:

  • Determine where you will put your savings. If you already have a checking account, you can open a savings account at the same bank. Just be sure to only use your checking account for purchases. If you keep these accounts separate, it’ll make it harder to spend your savings.
  • Create goals. Figure out what you’re saving for (e.g., a better apartment or car) and how much you’ll need. Then decide how often you’ll make contributions towards your goal. Determine how much you’ll contribute on a weekly or monthly basis and set reminders to hold yourself accountable.
  • Make it a habit. You’ll only reap the rewards if you contribute regularly. Treat your savings account like a bill that you pay on a monthly basis. You’re paying yourself and building for your future. Over time even small contributions will add up.
  • Consider fees. If you have a checking account, be mindful of how often you use your debit card. Consider whether or not overdraft protection is for you. Though it could keep a payment from being returned, the fees can be steep.
  • Track your savings progress. Do you struggle with meeting your savings goal? Track your spending. Look at your expenses and see if there’s anything you can cut back on. For example, if you went out to eat more this month, consider preparing more meals at home. Take the extra money you save, even if it’s just a small amount, and put it in your savings account.

Most importantly, be sure to celebrate your efforts. It may look daunting, but saving money rewards you in the end -- so get started today! Test your knowledge by completing our LendUp Education courses. Share with your friends, and stay tuned for more education opportunities from LendUp.

Is there an area of personal finance that you’d like us to cover in a course or Fast Financial Fact? Where do you struggle with managing your finances? We’d like to know! Or are you an organization that’s interested in collaborating? Please get in touch at education(at)lendup(dot)com.