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Kim’s Tips for Building Your Savings

money smarts with kim

Ever feel like your savings are stuck in the same spot? It has happened to all of us, even our CEO and president, Kim Sponem. Luckily, she has some advice to help get out of the pit and moving forward. Keep reading to learn how to take your savings to the next level.

Every time I feel like I’m getting ahead, something happens that I have to pay for! How do people get ahead?

I know exactly how you feel. I remember after buying a car and then my first house, it seemed like I’d just get some savings in my account. Then bam, something broke that I needed to get fixed, and there went that savings. After the fact, I would work hard to build my savings back up. Not too long after that, I would need a new washing machine or a lawn mower or my car fixed. Ugh!

Someone told me a long time ago to increase my savings every time I got a raise and to be sure to save at least half of any bonus or extra payment. That was great advice. Over a few years, that “back-up” savings account had more and more money in it, to the point where I could open some certificates of deposit, too.

Then, I got to the point where I was able to purchase more things, like a ski boat. The problem with purchasing more things is there are more things that can go wrong and more things you need to spend time and money fixing. For me, “money pits” seem to go in spurts. If one thing was going to break a few other problems were going to happen, too.

After yet another one of these multiple “bad luck” occurrences, I had an epiphany. I decided to change how I think about this problem. I decided that whenever I bought something that would break or need replacing, I needed to set aside money for when, not if, something goes wrong with it. The more things I accumulated the more “support” money I needed in that account. When something broke, rather than feeling defeated, I now thought, “Hey, glad I have the money to fix that.” With systematic savings, I knew the account would build back up. That is what I earmark that money to do … fix the things I want to have in my life. That is one of the ways I help myself get “ahead.”

Another great source for real life examples of ways to get ahead is the Project Money page of SummitCreditUnion.com. There you will find tips from Summit’s Project Money participants who are real people owning their financial lives, increasing their savings and lowering their debts with the help of Summit coaches. You can follow them through good times and setbacks as they compete for $10,000 and, along the way, gain control of their financial lives. Thousands check in on their blogs each year to learn from participants’ experiences. I’d encourage you to check it out for information and inspiration to help you get ahead, too.