Start Small, Save Up
Oct. 3, 2019
Kathy Kraninger, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Maureen Busch, Vice President, Compliance and CRA Officer at The Bank of Tampa.
By Maureen Busch, Vice President, Compliance and CRA Officer at The Bank of Tampa
Saving, even just a little, will make a difference over time.
Makes sense, right? But where to begin?
Meeting a savings goal is just like any other big task, best accomplished by breaking it down in to small goals rather than trying to undertake it all at once.
Think of other seemingly insurmountable tasks you’ve conquered. You didn’t reach your goal in just one try, now did you? You probably worked at it little by little and then, before you knew it, you achieved your goal.
Here are a couple of examples to put it into context. They reinforce that to take on any big task, starting small is the best approach.
Want to run a marathon? Most people cannot wake up one day and say, “I’m going to run a marathon,” put on their sneakers and then run one. No, they start small—walking, walk-running, run-walking, and then running and increasing their endurance by running longer distances day-by-day and week-by-week.
Want to play an instrument? Very few, and I am not one of the few, have the raw talent to sit down at a piano or other instrument and play flawlessly. It’s the exact opposite, right? Weeks and months of learning the basics and more months, maybe even years, before we are rehearsed enough to play in public.
Saving is no different. We cannot say, “I want to save $5,000” and have it saved immediately. Rather, it will take time to build. And, it may take work—hard work—like starting small with a dollar or two a week, building to $5, then $10 a week, and so on, until you can finesse your budget and find a way to save $50 per week. Patience and perseverance are key to achieving such a goal.
While it’s your own journey, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created a number of tools to help you start and commit to your savings goal. Tools? You ask. Yes, similar to running and playing an instrument, with saving, having the right “tools” can help you achieve your goal.
The CFPB has published a number of tools to help you begin your savings journey. From the very beginning (starting out small), to topics such as how to plan for the unexpected, how to save automatically, and how to plan for the future, including planning for life events and large purchases.
The CFPB’s resources are free to use and available on its website: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/start-small-save-up/.
I have been fortunate enough this past year to see the work of the CFPB from a close vantage point. During the 2018-2019 year, I was selected to serve on the CFPB’s Community Bank Advisory Council and served as the Council’s Chairwoman. I have heard Director Kathleen Kraninger discuss her Start Small, Save Up initiative to help Americans start their savings journey and have spoken with CFPB staff regarding the vast amount of resource information available to every consumer. The CFPB is passionate about encouraging consumers to create, maintain, and grow emergency savings accounts as part of their overall financial well-being.