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After summer vacation season, it's common for people to take a deep breath and look over their finances

Savings Strategies from Mountain America Credit Union
Posted at 1:34 PM, Sep 19, 2023

After summer vacation season, it's common for people to take a deep breath and look over their finances. For many, that means paying off those vacations or starting to save for the future.

Krystalina Brown, Director of Communications at Mountain America Credit Union, joined us with some ideas for people wanting to build up their savings.

She says one of the easiest ways to start rebuilding your savings is to get more specific about what you're saving for. Often, people just have one savings account, and they usually refer to it as their "savings account." But what is it savings for? Is it your emergency fund? Your vacation fund? Your car repair fund? Are you saving for a home project or gifts for the holidays?

Krystalina says start by finding out if your financial institution allows you to create multiple named savings accounts. That will allow you to better see what you are saving toward and how you're doing toward those goals. If you can, set up automatic transfers to those accounts, as well. That way you can build those savings without always having to manually move money into them.

It's the digital version of a tried-and-true budgeting technique called the envelope method. By having these different envelopes or accounts you're able to not only keep track of how far along your are in each savings goal, but psychologically it helps keep you from taking money you have saved for one thing and spending it on something else.

If you're someone who has a hard time keeping money in savings, even if you have it earmarked for something specific, Krsytalina advises to see if your financial institution has a way you can hide your savings accounts from your default view when you log in to your account.

Then you can set up those automatic transfers into those savings accounts so they can continue to grow behind the scenes. Ideally you won't be tempted to transfer money out of those hidden accounts because they aren't always in front of you showing growing balances.

Mountain America does offer this, so if your institution doesn't have it, they can help you get set up.

Krystalina also says the increase in interest rates over the past couple of years has revived the popularity of certificate accounts or certificates of deposit. Those types of accounts are now offering yields of 4 to 5 percent or more depending on the institution. At Mountain America, you can get a six-month certificate today with a 5.50% annual percentage yield , which is significantly more than it would have over the past decade.

What that means is you can not only keep that money a little more protected from impulsive spending, but it also earns something on top of that. With a six-month certificate, you can decide again in six months whether you want to continue using that solution to improve your savings or whether you want to do something else with it.

• Insured by NCUA
• Membership required—based on eligibility
• 5.50% Annual Percentage Yield based on 5.37% Annual Percentage Rate as of 8/1/23. Minimum balance required—$500 for standard, IRA and Roth IRA certificates; $5 for growth certificates. Penalty for early withdrawal. Fees may reduce earnings. Limited-time offer. Any offer provided by Mountain America can be withdrawn at any time and is subject to change.

For more information or to find a branch near you, please visit macu.com.