Managing your finances can be stressful, especially when you’re facing an unforeseen obstacle or trying to meet a goal. Even though we all know we should be “staying on top of our finances,” sometimes, it can seem easiest to simply avoid creating a money management strategy at all—especially when you aren’t even sure where to begin. If you’re looking to keep a closer eye on your spending and get smarter about your budget, or if you just want a refresher on best practices, we’ve put together several tips to help you succeed.
Let’s go back to the basics:
- Get acquainted with your budget. Check in on where you are in your earning and spending for the year. Did a recent job promotion allow you to save more this month? Were you surprised by an unexpected or costly car repair? Are there big ticket purchases coming up soon that you need to account for? Once you get a handle on how much is coming in and going out each month (and on where you’re spending your money), it will be much easier to determine where you can realistically spend less and save or invest more.
- Don’t let debt creep up on you. An easy way to gain more control over your expenses is to evaluate how much you owe in debt, determine what you’re paying in interest, and work to keep paying it off. Some people choose to pay down loans with the highest interest rate first, and others try to get rid of smaller debt first. Whatever your payment strategy, it’s important to stay on track and even get ahead when you can.
- Automatic bill pay is your friend. There’s nothing worse than realizing you missed a bill payment, and now you’ve incurred a fee or a hit to your credit score. With automatic bill pay, you don’t have to remember—you can set your account to pay your bills for you on the same day each month. As long as you have enough money in your account, the payment will be made successfully, and you can rest easy. Paying your bills on time is good for your credit score as well.
- Paperless statements make life easier. Some people need a paper filing system in order to keep their bills and bank statements in order, but for many of us, extra paper statements only bring chaos and confusion. When you sign up for digital services like paperless statements, your financial information is kept safe and filed away for you so you can reference it any time.
- The tools are at your fingertips. Mobile banking apps and online banking help take the hassle out of everyday transactions like checking your balance, transferring funds, sending money to friends and depositing checks. When you’re on the go, and you want a faster, easier option, look no further than your phone or computer to get the task done.
- And finally – when in doubt, ask! If you ever need assistance or advice, we’re here for you 24/7: 800-860-8821 and in person at our 58 banking centers.
This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
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