Life can be a roller coaster. There are emotional ups and downs, and there are financial ups and downs, too. One strategy is simply to go with the flow. A better strategy is to plan ahead. Over the next six months we’ll cover everything you need to know about saving money so your downs won’t be as scary.

Saving money can be a difficult habit to cultivate, but it’s well worth the effort to get started if your savings plan has been haphazard at best. While going down in a roller coaster provides thrilling screams, financial downturns lead to dread and despair.

So let’s take some of the thrill out of the financial thrill ride. Here are some of the topics and tips we’ll cover in the coming months:

October: Why it’s important to save

Everyone knows you should be saving money. You also know that “you can’t take it with you.” So why is it so important to save for later when there are so many compelling reasons to spend today?

Having an emergency fund, anticipating unexpected costs, and saving for a goal, such as a new car, a dream vacation, or a college education are but a few important reasons to set some income aside. And for most people, the two biggest reasons for saving are purchasing a home and saving for retirement.

November: Pay yourself first

Why does saving money always seem like taking medicine? You know it’s good for you, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You need an attitude adjustment! Saving isn’t depriving you of fun and the things you need and want. Saving is money in the bank (or credit union)!

It’s time to start thinking of the money you tuck into your savings account like a paycheck you give yourself. You’re in control of that paycheck! Why not give yourself a raise? We’ll cover some tips to help you set aside a portion of your paycheck every payday.

December: Ways to save

Now that you’re convinced that saving money is important, what are your best options for saving it?  We’ll look at different types of saving accounts, IRAs and CDs. We’ll also cover the basics of investing in stocks, mutual funds or bonds.

Each savings instrument has pros and cons, so once you know what the strengths are, you can use those strengths to find the best combination for you. There’s no magic formula. So don’t get stuck trying to find the one perfect method for saving money. Just start saving!

January: What is an IRA?

Yes, we’ll briefly cover IRAs in December, but there’s a lot more you should know! We’ll dig deeper into the types and benefits of IRAs in January. And we’ll explain how they work.

Of course, you want to know how IRAs can earn better interest, helping your nest egg grow more quickly. We’ll have tips for that.

You also need to know when and how to withdraw your savings from an IRA so you can avoid penalties. You’ve worked hard to save for your retirement, so you don’t want to lose any gains. We’ll cover the proper way to access your savings.

February: What’s my net worth and why should I care?

At first glance, you might think, “What does net worth have to do with saving money?” If your attitude has been, “It is what it is,” then we’ll show you why you should pay attention to it.

We’ll discuss how saving money helps you increase your net worth and how that puts you in a better financial position beyond the obvious reason.

March: Benefits of budgeting

How big is your pie? How many servings do you need to slice it into? Have you ever started slicing a pie—or cake or pizza, for that matter—only to realize that you miscalculated? The last person in line ends up going without!

That’s exactly why your household needs a budget. You need to know how big a pie—or pile of money—you have before you start shelling it out. You don’t want to run short at the end of the month or before your next paycheck.

Your monthly money saver

United Financial understands how financial worries are a huge source of stress. Having a financial cushion helps soften the blow when life hits you with an unexpected setback. Check in every month for tips and suggestions that will help you with saving money.

Along with a softer cushion, you’ll gain peace of mind.