Five Ways to Grow Your Savings Accounts

by Becky Tudor

We get it… allocating a set amount of your income each month for your savings accounts may seem all but impossible. But it’s important to put money aside for a rainy day; you never know when emergencies (or even retirement) will creep up.

Here are five suggestions to help you save money:

1. Keep Track of Your Spending: To figure out how much you can put aside each month, pinpoint how much you are spending. Tally your monthly expenditures. Hold on to every receipt—no matter if you pay with cash or credit—so at the end of the month you can perform an audit. Take a look how much you spend on recurring items (think rent, cable and electric) as well as one-offs like lunches, movie ticket, and sporting events. Once you’ve aggregated this data, you can set a target for how much money you can put into your savings accounts.

2. Pay Your Savings Account: The best way to save is to make it automatic. For instance, when you receive your regular paycheck, schedule a portion of it to be automatically deposited into your dedicated savings account or 401K—instead of waiting until the end of the month to move it over. In other words, pretend as if that money is not there. When that money is not available, you cannot spend it and, thus, your savings accounts can flourish.

3. Be Careful With Your Credit Cards: All too often, individuals end up paying down the interest on loans, debts and credit instead of paying the actual sum of money borrowed. You may be able to avoid paying interest if you pay off the entire balance each month.

4. Get Creative With Your Social Events: While limiting your entertainment budget is a surefire way to pad your savings accounts, it is incredibly important to find ways to satiate your quest for social gatherings while doing so on a budget. So instead of limiting your social events, get creative with them. Consider going for hikes, playing board games or inviting friends over for a pot luck dinner rather than suggesting pricier social gatherings. Just swapping even one concert night for a karaoke night could save you hundreds of dollars in one month.

There are so many great money saving tips out there, so we want to hear from you! How do you suggest padding your savings accounts each month?

Three Tools for Teaching Cent$ible Kid$ Personal Finance

by Pam Reiss

Americans today are having a difficult time saving money for the future. In fact, the independent research firm NextAdvisor recently found that nearly one in every four Americans has no savings at all. With recent history showing how unstable economies can become, parents today would be well-advised to educate their children about the importance of personal finance.

As of now, only 17 states have personal finance classes as a high school graduation requirement. If you live in one of the 33 states that doesn’t have this requirement (Connecticut is one of them) it might be wise to find other means of educating your children in this area.

Here are three tools the Milford Banks Cent$ible Kid$ Program employs to help teach your children personal finance:

1. Games: Yes, kids love games and, oftentimes, parents worry they might love them too much. But when games are educational, research shows it helps children learn. Computer games, like “Cash Puzzler” and “Road Trip in Savings” available through The Milford Bank’s program, entertain kids while teaching them lessons about money and spending.

2. Savings account: Cent$ible Kid$ operates by giving children their own savings accounts. Along with responsibility for this important personal finance tool comes a chance for these young owners to develop their own plan for savings.

3. Newsletter: Visual learning is important to children. Their young minds are receiving educational stimuli when they read our Cent$ible Kid$ newsletter. To get a taste of our children-friendly newsletters, that provides children with visual learning materials, check out the latest here.