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Set up an automatic savings program for the new year

The beauty of automatic savings programs is that

The beauty of automatic savings programs is that you take one positive action -- setting it up -- and reap the rewards. Photo Credit: iStock

Only one-third of those polled in a new survey by Capital One Bank said they accomplished their financial goals in 2015. Sometimes the best intentions don’t become reality if you leave yourself wiggle room.

The beauty of automatic savings programs is that you take one positive action — setting it up — and reap the rewards. There’s no self debate — should I save or buy a new cell phone? You never see the money.

It’s a New Year. Here’s how to start a good habit.

- Pay yourself first: Before paying any bills, have money deposited directly from your paycheck to a secondary savings account each pay period or a specific amount per month, advises Brian Brandow, a money coach in Ronkonkoma.

Set your automated savings plan to withdraw money from your account the day after your paycheck usually clears. “This will save you from overdrafting because you accidentally spent too much before the automatic withdrawal,” says Michael Eckstein, an accountant with Michael Eckstein Tax Services in Huntington.

- Start small: Do what you can do. Make saving an item in your budget. “Consider saving a ‘bill’,” says Kevin Gallegos, a vice president at Freedom Financial Network in Phoenix. Even $25, $50 or $100 a month beats zero. Increase it when you can.

- Consider online banks: Matthew Coan, owner of Casavvy.com, a financial product comparison website, is a fan of online savings accounts. He does direct deposit into an online bank. “Online banks don’t have the overhead of staffing and maintaining buildings all over the country and they pass these savings on to customers in the form of little to no fees and better interest rates. It’s simple to set up.”

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