One of the bigger financial challenges for fledgling physicians is staying motivated to keep setting aside a greater portion of their earnings for savings. Saving money, for the sake of savings, while noble and responsible, doesn’t always provide the inspiration physicians need to keep plowing away more funds. But, when a goal is set, and achieving it is of paramount importance, suddenly, it becomes easier to save. The best way new physicians can achieve savings success is by organizing their savings around their goals.
After entering the workforce a decade later than other people their age, physicians may have multiple, shorter term goals such as buying a home, or a car, or funding a college education. Lumping your savings into one account is like lumping all of your goals together which makes it difficult to track them.
With the availability of online savings accounts, it is possible to establish multiple accounts each dedicated to a separate goal that can be tracked and managed individually towards that goal. This will ensure that you don’t lose sight of your priorities, and as your financial circumstances change you can manage your allocations between the accounts to reflect your current needs.
An online savings account will enable you establish separate accounts that can be fed directly from a checking account, either automatically or manually, and you can easily adjust your allocation between the accounts. Depending on the time horizon of your goal, you could set up longer term accounts with time deposit CDs to increase the rate of interest on your savings.
Achieve Savings Success
Save for Specific Goals
Most savings institutions have a range of savings vehicles from which to choose. Each has a different set of savings characteristics that vary depending on the time horizon of the deposit. Some vehicles are more suited for short term needs while others are ideal for long term savings needs.
Emergency Fund: It is universally recommended that you have an emergency fund consisting of short term savings that could cover at least six months of living expenses in the event of a loss of income. There really is no better alternative than a savings account. The minimum initial deposit is low, and there is no minimum balance requirement. In most cases, you are able to withdraw from your account six times or more a year.
Saving for a Home: If your savings goal is further out, say, three to five years, you may want your money earning money market rates while still having short term access. Money market accounts require a higher minimum deposit ($2500) and a minimum balance, so they are more suited for larger savings needs. Some money market accounts even come with check writing privileges, however, withdrawals are limited.
Saving for Retirement: If your time horizon is beyond five years, you can maximize your interest rate by investing in certificates of deposits (CDs). CDs are issued with varying maturity dates, with the longer term maturities having higher rates of interest. As long as you have a liquid savings for short term needs, you could consider investing in the longer maturities. Long term CDs are ideal for a Roth IRA.
Each of your accounts, your emergency fund, your house or auto savings money market account and your Roth IRA can all be accessed from your online banking account for viewing, managing and accessing. More importantly, each can be tracked toward their specific goal.