How to Rebuild Your Personal Savings Account

Have you ever seen your savings account balance dwindle to nothing and feel like you could not build it up yet again? Or did that last emergency drain your savings to an all time low? If you like the security of having money in savings, but have gotten sidetracked, there are two small steps you can take that will help your personal savings grow again without causing discomfort or budget distress.

Establish the savings habit 

Start a pattern of setting aside money on a consistent basis. Establish a regular payroll deduction, set up an automatic payment to savings from your online checking account, or simply put all coins you collect in a jar and then regularly deposit the change into your savings account. If saving is a mental game for you, make a big deal out of each deposit. Sometimes you need the visual push that writing out the deposit slip and placing the cash on the counter provides. There is not a right or wrong method, starting the habit is the key.

Plan to increase slowly 

Sometimes in our zeal to start saving, we overestimate how much we can save in a month. Plan to start small and work your way up. To ramp up over time, try the following strategies:

  • When you receive a pay raise, put a portion into savings rather than increasing spending or expanding your lifestyle.
  • Deposit windfall money (such as, bonuses, gifts, or inheritances) directly into savings.
  • Analyze your miscellaneous spending and cut unnecessary expenses so you can add that money to savings.
  • Delay purchasing a new car when you pay off your old one. Instead save for a few months and build your savings.

Don’t let a short-term setback impact your long-term plans. Recognize that sometimes savings will be wiped out by unavoidable circumstances such as needed car repairs, unexpected expenses, or large purchases. When this happens don’t get discouraged, just reboot the system and start the habit again. The road to success is usually paved with a few potholes, but every bit of know-how you gain can be applied to building a bigger and better account. 

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.