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How to create a fall savings plan

What we'll cover

  • How to create a savings plan to tackle your fall goals

  • How to cut unnecessary costs

  • Ways to get creative with your budget

As summer turns to fall, the weather may be cooling down, but your spending might be warming up. In recent years, American families with school-aged kids have planned to spend, on average, more than $800 on back-to-school supplies. That's just the beginning. It’s also the season to pencil in some fun fall activities as a family, and you may even be thinking about getting a head start on prepping for the holidays.

So, how do you pay for it all without breaking your budget?

Create a fall savings plan to keep you and your fall festivities on track all season long.

Start with a fall savings bucket list

As you get your fall savings plan underway, start by thinking about what goals you want to save for, and then decide how much you want to save toward each one.

For example, your goals might look like this:

  • $1,000 for back-to-school shopping

  • $1,500 for a fall trip

  • $1,000 for holiday shopping

  • $850 for home repairs/improvements

Now you know that altogether, you need to save $4,350 to meet your fall savings goals.

Tip: To track your progress on each savings goal, create savings buckets , a feature of Ally Bank’s Savings Account . You can make up to 30 savings buckets to stay organized as you work toward your goals.

Leave unnecessary costs behind

Finding more money to save in the fall could be as simple as reviewing your budget for expenses you could trim down or cut out. You may be able to drop subscription services you don’t use, start making more meals yourself or ditch your gym membership and work out at home or the great outdoors instead. No expense is too small if it means adding a few extra dollars to savings.

Finding more money to save in the fall could be as simple as reviewing your budget for expenses you could trim down or cut out.

Get creative for a frugal fall

If you’ve slimmed down your budget and still need to carve out more savings, start thinking beyond the usual suspects.

Cut costs at home

Home energy costs are a great place to start saving. Take a close look at your utility bills to spot opportunities to shave expenses. You could try installing a programmable thermostat to keep energy costs down. Make sure to regularly service your HVAC system to keep it running efficiently and prevent expensive maintenance. You may also elect to turn off the HVAC and open up windows instead.

Make debt less expensive

If you have student loans , consider strategies for reducing your debt. Paying off student loans, credit cards, a mortgage or any other type of debt is not one size fits all. Experiment with different debt management styles , including the snowball method, to find the strategy that works best for you.

Upgrade your savings account

When choosing accounts, consider looking for one that offers a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) with no monthly maintenance fees. Ally Bank’s Savings Account also compounds interest daily, so your money can work for you.

Start selling

If you’ve got extra stuff around the house you don’t need, you could turn it into cash for fall savings. Electronics, old cellphones, books, appliances and clothes are just a few things you could sell for cash.

Pick up a fall side hustle

The fall season is a great time to earn extra money with an online gig or picking up work raking leaves, cleaning gutters or selling homemade baked goods.

Get your coupon game on

Whether you’re planning a back-to-school shopping trip, a fall getaway or holiday shopping for everyone on your list, take time to compare prices and seek out discounts. And while you’re shopping, consider using cash back apps to earn back some of what you spend, then funnel that into fall savings.

Invest some of your savings

Investing could help you pursue your goals. If you don’t have an investment account yet, you can get started with Ally Invest today. You can choose Self-Directed Trading if you like DIY investing or Robo Portfolios if you prefer to invest with professional guidance.

Get started on your fall savings goals today

Fall is a great time to set some new savings goals and evaluate ones you’ve already been working on. As you prepare for back-to-school shopping, fall travel or the holidays, a solid savings plan could help you keep your family’s financial goals top of mind and moving forward all year round.

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