Featured Image Building a savings account can be tough. In a world of instant gratification, it’s easy to lose sight of our long-term goals. You might be just getting started and looking to build an emergency fund. Or, perhaps you’re looking to adjust your habits to save for a down payment, vacation, or retirement. Whatever your goals, here are 10 strategies to help you grow your savings and keep at it.Pay yourself first. Treat your savings like a bill. By setting a fixed amount aside, either monthly or each pay period, you’ll be surprised at how fast your savings can grow over time.Make savings automatic. Using direct deposit automations or payroll deductions can help put the concept of paying yourself into action. By automating your savings, you’ll minimize the chances of other expenses cutting into your savings goal.Pay installments to yourself. After you pay off a loan, like a car loan, continue to make “payments” by putting that amount in your savings account.Collect loose change. Collect your spare change at the end of every week. Deposit it in a savings account every month. Don’t carry much cash or change? Consider enrolling in an automatic savings program, like Change Jar. Through this free program, we’ll automatically round up each debit card purchase to the nearest dollar, putting the change in your savings. Learn more here.Manage credit wisely. If you can, charge only what you know you can pay off the next month. Pay credit card bills in full each month whenever possible so you don’t add interest charges to the cost of an item. Have a balance? Try to pay more than your minimum payment to retire that debt more quickly and save on high interest down the road.Track your spending. Have you ever looked at your account balance and wondered where your money went? If you’re having trouble making space for savings in your budget, tracking can be the key to spending awareness. Use an app, or try handwriting your spending in a notebook for a week. By tuning into our day-to-day spending, you can find room to align our habits with your goals.Consider ways to cut costs. Making a few cost-saving adjustments can save you big bucks down the road. Reducing money spent on eating out, creating shopping lists, or breaking costly habits are just a few ways to cut everyday costs.Make a plan for lump sums. Get a bonus? Tax refund? Consider earmarking these for an instant boost to your savings. If that’s hard to swallow, try the 80/20 rule – 80 percent goes to savings and 20 percent is for fun. Deciding your plan for the cash before it hits your account will help you stick to it.Don't leave money on the table. Once you’ve invested into your savings be sure to not leave your dividends behind. Take advantage of higher-yield savings accounts such as money markets or savings certificates and watch your money grow.Maintain you lifestyle. As our earnings grow over time, it’s tempting to let our lifestyle become more extravagant as our paychecks. Avoid lifestyle creep by maintaining your expenses and pocketing your next bump in salary.Whichever strategies appeal to you, the key is to start now! Don’t know where to start? Watch Get Smart About Saving to define your short- and long-term savings goals and dive into working toward them.Savings services from VACU can help you prepare for your long-term plans — or an unexpected expense. Learn more about saving services Sabrina G.To Sabrina, being financially confident starts with having the right skills and tools to make smart financial decisions. With almost seven years of financial education experience, Sabrina is passionate about enriching the lives in her community and giving people the support they need to reach their financial goals. A creative at heart, in her free time, Sabrina loves spending time with her family and fur baby, as well as volunteering and serving on the SPCS Alumni Association Board at the University of Richmond.Other stories by Sabrina G.