From buying a new house to having a baby, life-changing events happen—and the expenses that accompany those events can derail your financial plans if you aren't adequately prepared. Using a savings account online is one way you can build your savings for emergencies and handle some of life's major costs.

Get in the habit of saving for life-changing events now, before you need the money later. Here are 7 steps to help get you started.

  1. Set a savings goal.
    Having a specific goal in mind such as going to college, getting married or having a child, can help you stay motivated to save. After you've chosen what you want to save for, you should also determine a specific amount that you would like to save.
  2. Calculate your debts and expenses.
    Next, you'll need to calculate all of your debts and monthly expenses. When you have these numbers in mind, you can see exactly what you'll need to conquer in terms of necessary vs. unnecessary spending. In many cases, seeing the figures on paper can jump-start your plan of attack.
  3. Create a monthly budget.
    With your savings goal and monthly expenses in mind, create a budget. It's important that your budget reflects a realistic picture of your finances, including additional savings for retirement or emergencies. If your budget doesn't allow you room for a savings goal, see what other expenses you can cut out. Developing these skills now—before changes come into your life—helps you to be that much more flexible when you need to adjust later.
  4. Find ways to earn additional income.
    If your budget doesn’t look like it will accommodate your savings plan, consider ways to earn additional income. Perhaps you are due for a raise or you could find a part-time job. Many people even make significant extra money selling things that lie around the house on Craigslist or at garage sales.
  5. Research your savings options.
    Now that you'll be saving toward a specific goal each month, see if there are any savings options that could help you earn additional money. You may be able to use the interest from your savings account online to open a CD and earn additional interest. At Ally Bank, for example, you can choose from a full line of CD products—all at highly competitive interest rates according to Bankrate.com.
  6. Set aside money each month.
    Commit to setting aside funds regularly each month. Many people use a savings account online that automatically transfers the money when they get paid. This is a great way to help stay on track.
  7. Check in regularly and celebrate your success.
    Finally, check on your savings account regularly to monitor its progress. Be sure to celebrate your success as you continue on your way to meeting your financial goals.

At Ally Bank, we have the tools to help you reach your financial goals, from our Ally Interest Checking Account and the Online Savings Account to a full line of CDs and more. Learn more at Allybank.com or call live, 24/7 customer care at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.

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