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What’s your saving style?

Posted on: 4/17/2018 | Author: ATB Staff

“Know thyself.” This aphorism is one of the Delphic maxims inscribed in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, attributed to the Greek god Apollo himself. It’s ancient advice. You’ve probably heard it before, but maybe you’ve never thought to apply it to your relationship with money.

A big part of building a compelling personal brand is getting intimately acquainted with the person at the core of that brand—you. Knowing your own saving style isn’t only the first step to gaining greater financial agency, it’s also an important part of building personal integrity, which is the foundation of any great personal brand.

So what’s your saving style? Are you a Savvy Saver, a So-So Saver or a Slacker Saver?

    The Savvy Saver

  • Invests her tax return
  • Has a budget and tracks her spending
  • Uses tools to budget and save
  • Invests her extra cash

    The So-So Saver

  • Is unsure about the best use of her tax return
  • Is aware of her spending habits, but doesn't have a budget
  • Has a savings account, but has no real plan for her savings
  • Is interested in learning about investing, but doesn’t know where to start

    The Slacker Saver

  • Spends her tax return immediately on something fun
  • Has no budget and doesn’t track her spending
  • Lacks a financial plan and direction
  • Is intimidated by investing, and ignores that opportunity

Regardless of your saving style, whether you perfectly fit into one category or are a combination of all three, here are four tips to becoming a savvy saver.

Determine your monthly income and create a realistic monthly budget.

Creating a realistic budget starts with figuring out how you’re already spending your money. Once you have this information, it will be easier to decide where you can cut back without negatively affecting your quality of life.

Are you really going to stop buying coffee at work? If not, include a daily coffee to-go in your budget. Even if you need to adjust your budget to your coffee-buying habit, there are likely other areas where you can adjust your behaviour.

Maybe you can start shopping at consignment and thrift stores instead of always buying brand-new (or maybe you just need to take a more inspired approach to mixing and matching the clothes you already own). Maybe you only really use one media subscription—not Netflix, Crave and cable. Carpooling with a coworker could help you save on gas.

Consider using an accountability partner, an online budgeting tool or an app on your phone to keep you on track.

Align your budget and your spending with your goals and values.

Your budget should reflect what’s most important to you. Think of it as a tool to help you get what you really want (it’s probably something grander and more profound than a closet full of handbags).

Include long-term and short-term goals. Take a long, hard look and consciously differentiate between your needs and wants. Does your budget reflect your ethics, as well as your material goals?

If you have a truly comprehensive budget, you can use it to affect positive change in both your own life and the wider world. Do you budget for charitable donations? What about expenses related to you and your family’s long-term health? Do your spending habits reflect your stance on sustainability? Perhaps you need to look at repairing instead of replacing things like shoes and furniture.

If you haven’t already, start saving or investing, and treat your savings like an expense.

A key part of successful investment-saving to start contributing as early as you can. Set up automatic deposits to coincide with your pay cheque deposit, so that your available monthly budget becomes the sum left after you’ve put savings aside. Start with as little as $100. After a couple of months you won’t even have to think about it.

While savings accounts work well for short-term savings goals, or if you think you’ll need immediate access to your funds, savings accounts generally don’t give your money much opportunity to work for you. Savings investments can offer tax benefits as well as the potential for growth. Call 1-888-282-3863 to talk to an ATBSI Financial advisor about a savings plan that’s right for you.

Build a relationship with your financial institution.

Shop around and ask questions until you feel confident and comfortable dealing with your bank or investment broker. They can help you discover solutions for your lifestyle, investment options you might not have considered and strategies (like lower-interest credit) for getting the best value for your money.

Foster an attitude of curiosity about your finances. It can be a process, but taking ownership and responsibility for your own money will set you up for success today and in the long run. Don’t beat yourself up about a spending slip-up or a slow-growing investment; budgeting and saving are lifelong habits that only become more natural (and more useful!) the longer you practice them.​​​​​​​​​​

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