Rachel Langlois with Cyprus Credit Union gives us great ideas for checking our financial health in the new year.
52 Week Savings Plan
Set aside one dollar for the first week of January, two dollars for the second week, three dollars for the third week and so on throughout the entire year. By the end of the year, you will have saved more than $1,000!
Set a Goal.
Maybe it’s that long awaited family vacation, beginning a college fund for your child, or starting the road to retirement. Whatever your financial goals for the year are, it’s important to make sure you know exactly what they are. Write down your goal and place it somewhere you’ll see it often. Remind yourself of what you’re aiming for when the urge for that spontaneous purchase hits. Always make sure that your goal is something realistic, even if it’s going to take a few years.
Create a Budget
Now that you have a goal set, how are you going to achieve it? The best way to control where your money is going is to create a budget. Write down everything that you spend during an average month and see if there are places where you can cut back a little.
Set Up Bill Pay
Take away the hassle of remembering to pay your bills with automatic pay. This will help eliminate late fees, giving you extra cash to set aside. You can even set up your Cyprus Credit Union Mobile Banking App to remind you when a bill has been paid; just as a friendly reminder that the money is no longer there and preventing possible account overdraw.
Prepare for Emergencies
Each month, set a little money aside for emergencies. This could be car problems, medical issues, or even an unexpected job loss. Ideally, this fund should have enough money to take care of you and your family for 3-5 months, at least. This may seem like a lot, but it’s better to have the money already set aside, as opposed to taking out loans just to make ends meet.
Start Your Taxes Early
Although April seems far away, due dates have a tendency to sneak up on you. Filing your taxes last minute may not only result in mistakes that could cost you, but you could also face potential late fees. By finalizing all your information early, you’ll be able to see how much money you owe, if any, and begin saving before officially filing in April. Less people file earlier in the year, so you will most likely receive your refund check in a shorter amount of time as opposed to filing in April. It’s also one less thing you’ll have to worry about, so why not get it done.
Yes, we know, a new year’s resolution to stay healthy, how original. But getting into shape will not only help you feel and look better, it will also help your bank account. Beginning a healthy lifestyle, including exercising regularly, wearing your seatbelt, and quitting smoking can help decrease your healthcare costs. It may also help reduce your health insurance premium. Also, check with your employer’s human resources department and see if there are any healthy lifestyle incentives available.
For more great ideas from Cyprus Credit Union, go here.