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Navigate the Sea of Financial Advice with 4 Tried-and-True Savings Tips

April 11, 2024

(BPT) - By Holly O’Neill, President, Retail Banking

Social media has become a hub of personal finance advice, giving rise to countless trends from soft saving to loud budgeting to cash stuffing. On TikTok alone, #FinTok has amassed over 4.9 billion views. If the abundance of content is any indication of people’s curiosity around personal finance content, it's clear consumers are eager to build healthier financial habits.

The sheer amount of content can make filtering through the noise a challenging task. This spring, welcome the beginning of a new season and take part in America Saves Week (April 8-12) by reviewing a few tried-and-true savings tips that will make you more financially savvy. Here are a few to get you started:

1. Build a budget.

Budgeting is a life skill that puts you in control of your finances. If you’ve fallen behind in some financial areas or you’re just not sure where to start, creating or reassessing your budget will never steer you wrong. A realistic budget that changes and grows as you do will help you plan, save and achieve your financial goals.

The first step is to get a handle on reviewing your monthly spending and determining where you’re overspending and ‘undersaving.’ After you get a better understanding of your cash flow, start and set a budget using the 50/30/20 rule. Begin by taking 50% of your after-tax income to cover needs, like rent and utilities; 30% to wants, like those new sneakers you’ve been eyeing; and 20% to be put into savings. If this method doesn’t fit your financial lifestyle, adjust your percentages to fit your current priorities.

2. Save toward a goal.

Saving without a purpose can feel overwhelming. Whether you want to put your kids through college, purchase a home that you can grow into, save up for retirement or check a destination off your travel bucket list — the best way to achieve any of your financial goals is by understanding your why.

Set specific savings goals with a plan for how to meet them. Break up long-term goals into short-term milestones to focus your efforts on more reachable targets, while bringing you closer to your overall goal. And don’t forget to reward yourself and celebrate your wins along the way!

To get started, you can take the America Saves Week pledge by identifying a savings goals and create a simple saving plan that works.

3. Automate your savings.

While saving money takes discipline and there are no “get rich quick” schemes, you can make things easier by automating your savings. After all, the key to building savings is to make it routine. By setting up automatic transfers, you can consistently grow your savings without even thinking about it.

Once you’ve identified your desired savings amount (see tip number one), ‘pay yourself first’ by automatically diverting a portion of your paycheck directly to savings. Consider digital tools like the Bank of America Keep the Change® program — it rounds up the price of every debit card purchase to the next dollar and automatically adds that to your savings account.

4. Embrace a learning mindset.

April is Financial Capability Month, and there’s no better time than the present to refresh your financial knowledge. Break through the noise on social media and take control of your financial well-being by getting a little bit smarter every day about budgeting and saving, paying down debt, investing and more.

A strong foundation of financial literacy means you don’t have to worry about money on a day-to-day basis and that you can pursue your goals and take advantage of opportunities — all while living within your means. Bank of America’s Better Money Habits® is a free financial education platform that provides practical, easy-to-understand knowledge about smart money habits.

Building good financial habits is a continuous process, so while you may not find your footing overnight, it’s important to celebrate small achievements along the way! Starting the spring season with a refresh and sticking to tried-and-true savings strategies will put you well on your way to financial success.

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