Your bank account balance determines your readiness in a financial emergency. Squirreling away money for a rainy day lessens money stress allowing you to focus on other aspects of your relationship. Your life goals require substantial amounts of money. If you don’t start saving now, you may come up short when it counts. At minimum, you need an emergency fund to help cushion a job loss, illness or a substantial bill.
According to Bankrate.com, you need between nine months and a year’s worth of income. You want to keep these funds in an easily accessible account, such as a money market account or a savings account. By keeping these funds available, you stay afloat if you lose your job or suffer an illness that keeps you from earning money.
Once your fallback account is funded, you want to start saving money for your other goals. Draft a list of the things you and your spouse want. Common goals include a car, a house, vacations, starting a family and retirement. Calculate the amount of money you need for each and start saving the money every month.
Daily Finance.com recommends following a 50/30/20 approach to budgeting your income. Set up your budget so that 20 percent of your monthly income goes into a savings account to fund your emergency account and goals. The other 80 percent is split between fixed expenses (50 percent) and discretionary income (30 percent.)
Finding Money to Save
When you can’t save 20 percent or even $100 a month, save what you can -- even if its only a few dollars a week. Start looking at your monthly expenses for ways to save money, such as cooking at home, canceling unnecessary cable packages or altering your cell phone packages. Set your priorities and adjust your spending to accommodate your needs. Immediately deposit windfalls such as tax refunds and bonuses into your savings accounts and you will see your accounts grow with time.
Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.