If you do not have a savings plan that you are following, you need to create one as soon as possible. Failing to plan for your current and future financial needs isn't just irresponsible, it can have devastating consequences. If you do not have savings and face an emergency, you could find yourself homeless, or simply hopelessly behind on bills. A savings plan can help you to get through hard times, and it can help you create a strong financial future for yourself and your family. Still not convinced to start a savings plan today? Here are 5 reasons to create a savings plan today.
1. Everybody Needs to Have an Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund that you can dip into is absolutely imperative. If you do not create a savings plan, you cannot budget putting the necessary money into savings. Emergency funds can be used for unexpected car repairs, travel expenses, medical bill co-payments in the event of illness or injury, or for a variety of other purposes. The specific amount you save for emergencies depends on your exact situation. If you are a working adult who owns a home, you might set a goal of saving a years worth of salary in the case of an emergency. If you are a college student with a part time job, you may be okay with a few thousand dollars.
2. You Will Avoid Going Into Debt
Once you have a savings plan in place, you can plan for future expenses. This includes setting up an emergency fund as mentioned above, but it also includes planning to save for things that you want and inevitable expenses. Here are some examples of these:
- Putting money away for upcoming vacations
- Saving to buy presents for the holidays
- Budgeting for higher utility bills when the seasons change
- Saving to purchase fun items such as electronics
If you don't save for these expenses, you will either do without, or worse, you will go into debt using credit cards.
3. You Will Know Where Your Money is Going
One of the major contributing factors to financial problems is failing to understand where and how you are saving your money. A good savings plan forces you to track expenses in addition to simply putting money into a savings account. The reason for this is that if you are unintentionally overspending, you are essentially stealing savings account funds from yourself. When you force yourself to write down everything that you spend, you are also forced to confront where you are wasting money. If you have ever ended a day with no money to spare, you will benefit greatly by starting a savings plan and tracking your spending.
4. You Can Begin Setting Both Short and Long Term Savings Goals
You need a financial plan in action to be able to set and achieve short and long term financial goals. As mentioned above, you may have short term goals such as making minor purchases and taking vacations, but financial planning also allows you to get and to reach long term goals. For example, you may wish to put money away for retirement, a major once in a life time vacation, a down payment on a house, and you definitely want to save for your retirement. It is never to soon to start accumulating savings for these major life goals. However, you cannot make any of your big plans come to bear fruit if you do not take the time to write out a solid savings plan.
5. You Will be More Likely to be Credit Worthy in The Future
People who create and stick to a savings plan tend to be better at financial planning as a whole. They are also more likely to understand how credit works. This includes the importance of paying off debt quickly, only taking on good debt, shopping for good interest rates, and using cash and debit cards to pay for the vast majority of your expenses. Sticking to a savings plan is also a great way to develop a strong sense of financial self discipline. This comes in extremely handy if you want to build and maintain a great credit rating for the future.
There you go! 5 excellent reasons to sit down and create a financial plan today, and there are many other reasons as well. Take the time today to formulate a financial plan, and then stick to it. In the future, you will be very glad that you did.
What do you think? Do you have a financial plan in action? Are you a spender or saver? What money lessons have you learned? If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.