Strategies for Building Black Wealth‌

Saving money can be a challenge for some, but with a sound plan and concrete goals, you could watch your money pile up this year. Here are the best ways to increase your savings in 2021 and beyond!

Amsterdam News | 1/8/2021, 1:24 p.m.
According to a McKinsey & Co. study, roughly 47% of African American households are unbanked.
Piggy bank/savings Photo by Joslyn Pickens from Pexels

Finances FYI Presented by JPMorgan Chase

According to a McKinsey & Co. study, roughly 47% of African American households are unbanked.

“Financial inclusion, which we define as having access to affordable financial services that meet your needs, is a human right,” said Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking in a recent Black Enterprise article. “A lack of inclusion in our financial system is a big reason for the racial wealth gap and why so many black households are unbanked today. We’ve had these challenges for decades, and the problem has compounded over time—with interest. But we will not sit idly and admire the problem. We want to be part of the solution.”

In Harlem, Chase Community Manager Nichol King comes into work every day to be this solution. Whether you’re new to the workforce or are approaching retirement age, saving money is something we should all strive to do. We sat down with Nichol to learn more about her wealth building and strengthening savings tips.

Ask Questions– Remember the saying, you never know unless you ask? Since the onset of the Pandemic most institutions have been willing to work with customers on an as-needed basis.

“If you’re having trouble paying certain bills ask what options the provider might be able to offer such as deferring monthly payments, or a payment plan,” says King. “However, whatever assistance you take make sure it won’t hinder your credit score, as that could cause problems for you later on down the line. Another tip I often share with my clients is to make a list of the due date for your upcoming payments and see if you can stager them. For example, if your rent or mortgage is due at the start of the month, perhaps arrange to have your credit card or auto loan due towards the end of the month.”

Set Goals - As King explained, “it’s not about what you make, it’s about what you keep.” A dollar put into a savings account with compounded interest, will be worth more tomorrow. Set an end goal for your money, maybe it’s treating yourself to a fancy dinner once a month, or something larger such as saving for a home or a wedding. Goals are important because they can help impact the thinking behind your spending. To make it easy to keep goals, ask if your bank has investing tools. Chase’s Autosave allows customers to make automatic transfers to savings accounts. From $10 a week or $100 a month, you choose how much money you want to save and in what cadence. When the money never enters your checking account, you’re a lot less likely to spend it.

Lower Bills – Take inventory of your bills and see where you can downsize. For example, do you need 150 cable channels, or that international cell phone plan? Getting your monthly payments as low as possible will enable you to put more money away each month. King says, do your research to shop around for auto or home insurance plans, and you might save hundreds on premiums. Even purchasing home energy-efficient home items will help shrink monthly utility bills.

Shop Smart -. One of the fastest ways you can see immediate results in your bank account is to change how or where you shop. Instead of purchasing lunch, or coffee every day, plan your meals out for the week, and stick to the plan regardless of how you feel. When at the store, try buying in bulk, purchasing generic brands, or leverage store sales and coupons. It’s shocking how much these changes alone can save you on necessary items!

Stay Home - Hand in hand with meal planning and smarter shopping is staying home. Whether you realize it or not, you could be spending hundreds on food and drinks outside your house each month! For example, if you forgo that $3 coffee purchased every Monday through Friday you would save $60 a month. Cutting back on the little things, might help your bank account add up faster. Remember that saving goal, and then ask if your Dunkin Donuts coffee is worth it, and if it is that’s Ok, just don’t go on auto pilot about it.

Eliminate Debt - The sooner you can eliminate debt, the quicker your money starts working for you. Paying minimum payments on credit cards and loans will make saving money seem impossible, so one of your goals should be to eliminate debt, and it’s also a very acceptable saving goal. Try to pay a little more each month because once that bill reaches zero you can use that money to reach your saving goal quicker.

If there’s one recurring theme here, it’s planning. Planning and dedication are the keys to meeting your savings goals, both short term, and long term. It’s important to understand that every single purchase you make plays a role, no matter how insignificant it may seem. With these tips, you should be on your way to a healthy financial future!

Finances FYI is presented by JPMorgan Chase. Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, investment advice, small business loans and payment processing. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: Nearly 5,000 branches, 16,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to Chase.com.

Finances FYI Presented by JPMorgan Chase