The holidays are synonymous with the S word.
No, not Santa.
But really, how can you resist? We’re being bombarded with sale, after sale, after sale. With each one promising to be the best of the season/year/century. It can be hard to resist.
This year, I’ve replaced one ‘S’ word with another: SAVING
Saving during the holidays is often an afterthought. One that creeps in, in January when you’re balancing your budget and wondering why you thought it was appropriate to splurge on so many presents/dinners out/bottles of wine. January isn’t always the cheeriest month and money woes are an unnecessary burden in the middle of the cold, harsh winter.
Most people don’t realize that financial health is a BIG part of overall health and wellness. Money is the source of serious stress and we know that stress increases the risk of disease development, specifically chronic heart disease, diabetes and psychiatric illness.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a natural saver. It doesn’t come easy to me to stash away money for a later time. How do I balance my needs with wants and also be a respectable adult and pay off my student loan debt, mortgage and car? It’s not easy to wrap your head around if you weren’t taught how to manage finances as a young adult.
What I’ve found is that saving money is much easier when I can’t see what I’ve saved.
My secret savings goes into an online account with 360 Savings from Capital One. For the last 10ish years, 360 Savings has helped me reach a number of financial goals: from purchasing my first designer handbag to taking a trip with girlfriends and getting a new camera lens. I’ve been able to do it because I used a fancy little feature that 360 offers: the automatic savings plan.
I know what you’re thinking: my current savings account can automatically withdraw money to be saved. But this is different.
360 Savings from Capital One is an online account that isn’t directly linked to your checking or savings account. Meaning you can’t see what you’ve saved when you log into your everyday bank account to check your balance. Since my 360 account isn’t directly connected to any of this I rarely peek into my 360 Savings account, why? Out of sight, out of mind!
This holiday season, I’m sticking with my goal to put away money each week. I think it’s important to continue to save through a season when we are used to spending more. Doing this keeps me on track with my savings goals. How do I know? I use the ‘My Savings Goals’ tool from 360 Savings which allows me to set personalized goals and shows me how long it’ll take me to reach my monetary goal. For example, if I wanted to save up $1000 in one year, 360 Savings would tell me that $83.33 has to go into my savings account each month. How often that happens is up to me: weekly, monthly, quarterly.
So, why start saving through the holidays? Why not push it til the New Year?
- A recent Capital One survey found that only 1/3 of Americans felt they accomplished their financial goals in 2015.
- Many people are already thinking about how to do better next year and start the New Year off on the right foot.
- In the Capital One survey, people ranked finances and family equally as top priorities when looking ahead to 2016 – more so than other goals like fitness.
Starting now puts you ahead of the game. Plus, 360 Savings from Capital One will help you track your progress which is a great way to stay motivated, even when you might not feel like saving. Currently on my list? A trip to LA with my girlfriends and the 2016 holiday season, because it’s never too early to start saving.
Happy Holidays, friends! May your days be filled with lots of (inexpensive) cheer! If you want to learn more or if you want to start your own savings account, be sure to check out 360 Savings from Capital One.
Your turn: how do you save through the holiday season? Are you a saver or a spender?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.