Filipino Abroad Remittance Corner: Money Matters

Money Matters

How to Save Like a Bank
 by: Karla Jo Helms
6 Sound Banking Principles from the Folks Who Should Know – the Banking Industry! 

In these hard times it can be challenging to consider making money, let alone saving money. But regardless of your current financial situation, and in good times and bad, money matters and the more you know about how to save money, the better you’re able to take the good times with the bad.

And while banks aren’t in the habit of writing financial books to help you save, one community bank wants you to know that saving money doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.

According to Robert Sumner, CEO of First National Bank of Pasco (FNB Pasco) near Tampa, Florida, “Saving money is the founding principle of the modern banking system, and should be a founding principal for a successful family savings account.”

Sumner adds, “For too long people have been told to ignore their savings account for various and supposedly ‘more lucrative’ funds, and while it does make sound financial sense to diversify you won’t have much to diversity with if there is no savings account to start with.”

Sumner suggest refocusing your family’s energy on creating a basic savings account and offers the following advice on how to do just that, based on FNB Pasco’s sound investment principles and the core fundamentals that make up their own lending – and saving – policies:

• Principle # 1 – Start where you are: We often sabotage our savings plans because we feel that “we don’t have enough to start saving yet” or “there won’t be enough in checking if we move this over...” But you’ll never begin if you don’t start somewhere. Banks, too, come in all shapes and sizes. As Sumner explains, “A local community bank isn’t made of money; we can’t ask corporate to approve a loan that’s too big if we don’t have it on hand.” Don’t wait for someday to start your savings account; start from where you are, even if it’s just a few dollars. By committing to this amount, even this small of an amount, every week, you can and will have a savings account to be proud of.

• Principle # 2 – Begin with a goal: Believe it or not, banks are not made of money. They have limits on spending, on borrowing, on lending and on what they can and can’t have as cash on hand. What are your limits? Where is your budget? Don’t start a savings account with some pie-in-the-sky dream of having a million dollars by the end of the year (especially if it’s already October when you begin!), but instead have a specific goal in mind

• Principle # 3 – Commit to succeed: Banks are famous for making long-term commitments to your financial success. Every time you see a “Come in and ask about our 4.5% savings CD,” you are looking at a commitment from your bank to honor your money and repay you, generously, for a set limit of months or even years. In short, you can’t save money if you don’t commit to success for a set period of time.

• Principle # 4 – Automate to accelerate: Banks have sophisticated, automated systems in place to regularly produce returns on their investments. By rolling over profits into the principle, banks accrue interest at an accelerated degree and provide profits upon profits. Your savings account should also be automated, not just to ensure that you regularly contribute to it but also to ensure that it continues to “roll over” as it profits. (Talk to your banker about how to set up such an account.)

• Principle # 5 – It should be a sacrifice, not a slaughter: Don’t try to save too much, too fast, or so much, so soon that you short-circuit your savings before you even begin. Crunch the numbers safely so that you can save enough for it to be a sacrifice, but not so much that it becomes a slaughter. In other words, yes, you should likely save x amount of dollars per month rather than buy a bunch more CDs, aromatherapy candles or throw pillows that you don’t need, but you shouldn’t go without a couch!

• Principle # 6 – Diversify deliberately: the one thing about banks is they will not allow your money to sit there and grow moss. Banks are a revolving door of investments designed to increase interest on existing capital. Likewise, once your savings account is up and running, it is important to weigh your options to ensure that not just are you saving money, but you’re making money as well. (Your local community banker can help!)

Saving money isn’t easy, especially in these tough and trying times. But for years banks have triumphed over tragedy again and again using these same basic principles. Now that you understand what you need to do to save, and have seen the benefits of a healthy, growing savings account, you can begin sowing the future seeds of your financial success today.

About The Author
Karla Jo Helms: 
After handling the PR for an Inc 500 company for several years Karla Jo Helms was ready to launch out on her own allowing her to bring her unique take on the world of PR to businesses both large and small. “Public Relations is a powerful tool that can garner wide acceptance and delve into arenas that marketing cannot touch,” says Karla Jo, PR Strategist and Published Author. Helms got her start creating and implementing PR Strategies for entrepreneurs, which helped her develop a keen eye for how to hone in on the best use of PR and technology to increase the Return On Investment of one’s marketing dollars. Her theory on how attaining critical mass by utilizing all areas of PR and Marketing in today's world allows her to put together complete strategies for clients that attain measurable results. A background in sales, business management and media relations has given her the well-rounded understanding of how to harness the power of PR to communicate to diverse groups of people...the end result being a wider sphere of influence and the invaluable commodity of goodwill garnered on a broad basis for her clients.

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