I consider myself a born again saver. That’s right, a married mom of two in her early thirties and I finally get it. I always knew saving money was important; however it did not stop me from spending any disposable income we had left at the end of the month. I spent the majority of my twenties living paycheck-to-paycheck. I am not afraid to admit this because I think the biggest problem among young Americans today is being afraid to admit they are not as responsible as they should be when it comes to saving. So I sit here today finally feeling like a grown-up, mature and responsible. I not only climbed out of debt in a short two years, but have learned how to save money, re-build my credit and plan for the future.
I have been a USAA member for going on eight years now and it saddens me that I didn’t research and use the products available to me at no cost sooner. Imagine how much more I could have saved if this was done sooner? But I won’t dwell on the “what if” and instead focus on where I am now and where I need to be.
As I mentioned, I have learned a lot about money in the recent years and have become better prepared for my future. While I still have a lot of work to do, I would like to share the 3 money savings tools I started using that helped me get on track and hold me accountable.
Ready to save?
I am starting out with my favorite one. Why is Savings Booster so great? It helps you to find money and save money that you would have otherwise just spent. Savings Booster is a tool that turns savings opportunities into actual savings. You can earmark SSA Distributions, ATM Rebates, or even a portion of recurring deposits. I currently have it set up to deduct a certain percentage of my employer direct deposit each month, as well as all my ATM rebates. I find it so helpful saving this money since it really isn’t money I count on monthly and it automatically goes into the account I set it for. Check it out by clicking on the Transfer/Deposit tab of your mobile app.
This one took me a little bit longer to use. I already had a budget and bill tracker put together in a spreadsheet, so I didn’t think it was necessary. However, I’ve learned to love it. What I like most about Money Manager is having everything is in one place. I can view all my accounts, customize my monthly budget as well as track my spending. If you’re a visual person like I am, you will love the color coded graphs and charts. This tool helped me cut my spending by more than 50%, allowing me to save and allocate more funds into my savings. If you’re struggling to pay down debt, it could help you find extra money to pay it down.
Financial Advice and Planning
Remember how I said that using these products held me accountable? Well I was specifically referring to the Financial Advice and Planning every member is eligible for at USAA. While I may know more now, I still need to ensure that as I get older, I am adjusting and saving more for the long term. Retirement is one of those things you don’t think about in your twenties; after all it seems so far away. Sticking with this has helped me to implement my own customized financial plan that has my short term and long term goals in mind. I also appreciate the ability to just pick up the phone and ask any question, without fear or embarrassment.
Like I said, I still have a long way to go when it comes to saving and preparing for the future. But I can proudly say that each day my family and I are getting closer to living life comfortably with no debt and a nest egg.
Have you used any other money saving tools? What has helped you save? Share with us below.
About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband of 11 years and two children.
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The information contained is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining professional financial advice. Please thoroughly research and seek professional advice before acting on any information you may have found in this article. This article in no way attempts to provide financial advice that relates to all personal circumstances. EN2_GEN1120_Informational_Financial_Advice
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