How to Increase Your Savings on Your Terms

“You need to save money.” You tell yourself this. Others tell you this too. However, according to the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households*, approximately nine million U.S. households don’t use any type of bank account to save their money. Since banks tend to offer similar products and services, even those who do save often don’t see a need to explore their options. Understanding the ins and outs of saving for the future is the first step to becoming a successful saver.

It’s important to note that all savings accounts are not created equal. Online bank accounts often offer higher yields than traditional bank branches, with savings account interest rates and certificate of deposit (CD) interest rates that are higher than the national average annual percentage yield (APY).

For instance, Goldman Sachs Bank USA (GS Bank) empowers consumers to save by offering a high yield savings account and CDs to help achieve savings goals, while at the same time providing the convenience and the security of a traditional bank. Additional advantages include no minimum deposit required to open an account, no transactions fees and only a $1 balance required to earn the APY associated with an account. With the backing of Goldman Sachs, GS Bank customers have access to a range of savings products that will help them save, as well as the expertise of a 148-year-old financial institution.

Digital alternatives to traditional banking don’t have the overhead that comes with managing branches and are therefore able to be more competitive with their rates, providing consumers with a realistic way to accumulate savings with higher interest rates and a stronger financial portfolio.

Accumulating savings can be difficult at any age. Here are some small steps that can make a big difference in the long run:

Make a budget: If you don’t know what you’re spending each month, start paying attention. Track your spending for a few months and make a budget to live by. Track the money you save by eliminating unnecessary spending and put it right into your online savings account.

Split-deposit paychecks: Consider having your employer split-deposit your paycheck to your checking account and a separate high-yield savings account. This way, saving becomes automatic and because your savings account is separate, you might be less tempted to spend it.

Manage spending: For instance, you could save money by bringing your lunch. If, for example, you average $8 a day for lunch at work, that’s $40 per week and $2,000 per year. It adds up. If you were to bring your lunch from home for about $2 per day, you could achieve a savings of $1,500 per year to add to your savings account. Homemade sandwiches taste pretty good when you’re watching your savings grow.

Sock your money away: Once you accumulate significant savings, you may want to move some of your savings to an FDIC-insured fixed-rate CD account to lock in an interest rate. A CD is a type of savings tool that offers a higher rate than most standard savings accounts. Generally, there is little risk and most typically don’t have monthly fees.

Keep your savings safe and secure: Consider keeping all or a portion of your core savings in an FDIC-insured bank. This can mean keeping your money in savings or CD accounts that are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum allowed by law. According to the FDIC**, since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds. For more information about FDIC deposit insurance coverage and limits, visit FDIC.gov/deposit.

As you work towards achieving your savings goals, you can learn more about savings strategies and financial insights from GS Bank by visiting www.GSBank.com. Have additional questions? You’ll find someone to connect with at 1-855-730-SAVE (7283). Start saving more right now to make a difference for your future.

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Good Credit? Bad Debt Management?

 It’s a widely-held misconception that those with good credit have a better grasp of managing their finances. In a recent consumer survey from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®*, 34 percent of consumers with good credit (FICO 660 and above) are in credit card debt and 41 percent view credit card debt as an area they wished they had more control over. Even those with good or excellent credit — a score of 660 FICO or above — can be prone to the cycle of high-interest credit card debt that includes variable interest rates and hidden fees. It’s enough to make anyone feel like debt resolution is out of reach.

For most of the population, it’s much easier to get into debt than it is to get out of it. According to NerdWallet’s 2016 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, the average household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16,748**. Everyday expenses and unexpected costs like braces for the kids, a leaky roof or a hot water heater breaking can affect everyone. For many, it’s easy to fall behind and resort to high-interest credit cards as a solution. Debt, particularly credit card debt, can be deeply stressful for people carrying a seemingly endless balance month over month. This stress, combined with the deep-rooted stigma around talking about credit card debt, leaves many people feeling like they have limited options to help them better manage their finances.

The consumer survey by Marcus by Goldman Sachs also uncovered surprising numbers surrounding the struggles Americans with good credit have with credit card debt. Many are unaware of alternative options that can help address their credit card debt and turn to increasingly desperate measures for assistance. Thirty-four percent would consider selling off household items to help with payments and 38 percent would consider turning to a second job.

However, there are other solutions that can help eliminate the revolving cycle of credit card debt.

One viable alternative is a fixed-rate, no fee personal loan, available from Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Loans range from $3,500 to $30,000 to eligible consumers with good or excellent credit (FICO 660 and above). Loan terms range for three to six years and interest rates range from 6.99 percent to 23.99 percent.

Marcus offers U.S.-based dedicated loan specialists who deliver live, personalized support. On Marcus.com you can also find a savings calculator to help you estimate your savings over high-interest variable credit card debt without affecting your credit score.

So, explore your debt management options — whether you want to consolidate debt, or simply need a loan that works for you.

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