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Save Smarter: Better Budgeting

Setting goals for the New Year is easy.

The challenge is actually accomplishing them. If your New Year’s resolution is to save money, it is important to set goals that are SMART, to make them more realistic. The SMART method tells users to set their goals to be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

With any goal, if you set the bar too high, it’s easy to give up. But if you write down your goals and share them with others, you’re more likely to succeed. A great way to spend the first few months of 2020 is setting attainable financial goals and working to stay on track with them throughout the year. To help you get started, we’ve collected a few of our favorite savings tips from staff around Elements. How will you use these to reach your financial goals?

Direct Deposit

When you get paid, send a portion of your paycheck to a savings account immediately via direct deposit.

48 Hour Rule

Before making any large or unusual purchases, wait two days to consider if it is necessary.

No Spend Weekend

Choose to do only free activities and eat food that you have already purchased for an entire weekend. Repeat this one weekend per month for the year. 


Many companies will let you reassign the due dates of your bills in order to better align with when you are paid. Make paying your bills your first priority!


When you have large bills, you’re less likely to buy things you don’t need. It is more difficult to break $50 or $100 bills than it is to spend small amounts of cash.


Plan ahead and commit to saving most of your tax refund in a dedicated account or emergency fund.

Get More From Your Money


2.00 % APY1 With only 15 qualifying transactions per statement cycle

Learn More Open an Account

This information is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. Consult with your tax, legal or financial adviser before taking any action.

Explore the Elements Mobile Banking App

Our mobile app puts all of your accounts at your fingertips 24/7. We've even included Budgeting Tools within the app to help you manage your money like a pro.

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  1. 1 High Interest Checking Account (Standard HINT) pays dividends using blended rate tiers meaning the stated dividend rate will be paid on the portion of the balance for each tier. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) for Tier 1 is 2.00% on balances up to $20,000.00 and the **Tier 2 APY ranges from 2.00% to 0.86% on balances from $20,000.01 to $50,000.00. To earn Tier 1 or Tier 2 dividend rates, 15 qualifying transactions must post per statement cycle on the account. The statement cycle includes all transactions posted after the last business day of the prior month through the last business day of the current month. Accounts not meeting the qualifying transaction threshold will earn 0.05% APY. Rates accurate as of July 1, 2024. All rates are variable and may change without notice at any time. Only the following are qualifying transactions: Debit card purchases, checks, bill payments, ATM withdrawals and ACH withdrawals. No other transactions qualify. At least one account holder must be at least 18 years old. Fees may reduce earnings.