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How to Start Your Savings Plan

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How to Start Your Savings Plan

We traditionally make resolutions at the start of a new year, but there is no wrong time to reflect on life, resolve to change a bad habit or start on the path to achieving a goal. While thinking of a resolution is easy, seeing it through is the hard part! 

The resolutions or goals that have the best chance of success are SMART. That means your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Starting SMART is the first step. Then you’ll need a plan, a step-by-step guide to making it all happen. 

Common financial goals can include: savings, debt payoff and retirement. Begin by figuring out how much you are spending monthly. You can use our easy calculator

Set your saving goals.
 

It can be as simple as opening a Savings Account online and setting up automatic transfers from your Checking Account. 

Prioritize an emergency fund. 

Saving at least $1,000 in an emergency-only account is a good start. Then work toward 3-6 months of living expenses as a longer-term goal. 

Reduce spending. 

Old National financial educator Ben Joergens has suggestions for spending less on common items like back-to-school supplies and planning ahead for holiday shopping. His tips can be applied in many other scenarios. 

Save for a down payment on a new home. 

Owning a home instead of renting can be a wise financial move. It allows you to reduce your overall monthly costs while you build equity. The biggest financial hurdle can be gathering cash for the down payment. There are savings strategies to help you reach your down payment target. 

WHAT ARE YOU SAVING FOR?
 

Set up direct deposit to a savings account, or automatic transfers from your checking to savings, and you’ll be reaching your goals in no time! We even make it simple to open your savings account online.

Pay off your debt.
 

Like many credit card holders, there are times when you might have overdone it on the spending and are now facing the task of paying off your credit card balance. 

Pay off a credit card balance. 

The length of time it will take is largely driven by the interest rate on the outstanding balance, how much you continue to use the card, and what you pay each month. See how long it will take to pay off your balance and consider increasing your monthly payment

Consider debt consolidation. 

The account balances from multiple credit cards or installment loans could be transferred into a single loan for a single monthly payment. Try our calculator to see if a debt consolidation loan could be beneficial for you. 

Related: The Most Overlooked Item of Any Home Improvement

Invest for retirement.
 

Are you saving enough for retirement? If you are like most US residents, probably not. Depending on the kind of lifestyle you’d like to live following retirement, you can start saving the amount of money you’ll need.

Create a savings plan based on your life stage. 

The best move is to start saving for retirement as early as possible in your career. Even if you’ve been lax in saving for retirement, you can still take steps to increase the amount of money available to you after you quit working. Here is what you should be doing at every stage of your working life to save for retirement. 

Manage your retirement funds.

Managing your retirement funds does not have to be complicated. You can either do it yourself or you can hire a financial advisor to take on this role. Schedule a consultation with an Old National financial advisor in your area. 

With your goals, a plan and support from your bank or financial advisor, you’ll be reaching your goals in no time!

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