Multiple surveys over the years have found that at least three-quarters of people in the U.S. have financial regrets, and that the most common one is that they're not saving enough.
Here's how you can put yourself in a better financial position than 75% of Americans: by opening a savings account that's separate from your checking account.
Maintain your capital and its value
Sure, savings account interest rates are low, but with a savings account, the goal typically isn’t to earn a good rate of return. The goal should be maintaining the value of your money.
In a checking account, inflation is slowly eating away at the value of your hard-earned cash.
According to the government's most recent inflation data, average annual inflation in the U.S. is about 2%. That means $100 in your checking account today will have just $98 of buying power this time next year — unless it’s earning interest in a savings account.
Out of sight, out of mind
It’s easy to avoid spending all of your income if you automatically set aside a portion of your income before you have a chance to spend it.
A separate savings account at a different financial institution from your checking account ensures you can't easily access your funds online or from an ATM.
Limiting access to your cash encourages you to learn to live on the money you have available in your checking account.
It might sound simple, but what’s out of sight is out of mind!
Get control over your finances
It takes discipline to maintain a savings account. The simple task of deciding on an amount to transfer into savings gets you thinking about your finances and forces you to budget.
A separate savings account is a smart way to discourage reckless spending and encourage financial stability and sound financial habits.
It's surprisingly easy to get ahead of the many Americans who say they're falling short when it comes to saving money.
If you don’t have a separate savings account, you should consider opening one. Choose an institution offering a high APY (annual percentage yield) and note the minimum deposit required to open an account. The whole process takes about 15 minutes, but it’s well worth the investment of time.