The New Year is a great time to set goals and start fresh. Even if you’re not the best at saving money or cash always seems to be tight, we have ten tips to help you quickly boost your savings this year.
1. Do a Checking Account Review
Are you paying a monthly maintenance fee each month? Or does it feel like you have to jump through a lot of hoops for your financial institution to honor your "free checking" account? Take some time to review your checking account and ensure it works in your favor.
2. Automate Your Savings
There are many tools to help you automate your savings, including direct deposit, payroll deduction, and automatic transfers. With payroll deduction and automatic transfers, you can set up a specific amount to be transferred into your savings account either when your paycheck hits your account or on a particular date each month. After a while, you'll forget the transfer is even occurring, but your savings will continue to grow.
3. Consolidate Debt
Debt consolidation allows you to transfer high-interest credit card balances or personal loans into a single, manageable monthly payment. Personal loans typically provide a lower rate than credit cards. Plus, you have set payments with personal loans, which help you pay off the balance quicker versus making minimum payments on a credit card.
4. Set Up Autopay for Bills & Loans
Never miss a payment by selecting an auto-pay option for your recurring bills and loans. In addition to avoiding possible late fees, you’ll protect and likely increase your credit score.
5. Plug Up Cash Drains
Big expenses aren't always the saboteurs of saving efforts. Those smaller expenses can really add up after a while and create a significant cash drain. To put a halt to spending and boost up your cash surplus, you can:
- Investigate your financial accounts for less noticeable fees, like fees for ATM use, account maintenance, or having a low balance.
- Do some comparison shopping for the lowest possible rates on insurance, mobile plans, utilities, and internet. Be sure you're also getting any discounts you're entitled to receive.
- Explore low-cost and free entertainment choices like beaches, parks, and hiking trails.
6. Refinance Your Vehicle Loan
A quick and simple way to save each month is to switch your auto loan to the credit union. Our team will evaluate your loan, determine if we can lower your monthly payments, or save you additional interest over the life of your loan.
7. Refinance Your Home
If your current mortgage rate is 1% higher than today's rates, you should explore the option of refinancing. While 1% may not seem like much, home loans are longer-term loans. This means that even a slight decrease could potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan.
8. Create a Budget
A budget is the ultimate tool for helping you eliminate debt faster and save more money. Budgeting will help you get your finances organized, so you have money left over every month to save. It might seem tedious but creating a budget and sticking with it doesn't have to be complicated. There are mobile apps out there that do most of the leg work and help you track your spending each month.
9. Make Extra Money
If cutting back on your expenses isn't quite doing the trick, you may need to explore other options to boost your savings. You can:
- Sell unwanted items at a yard sale or online
- Take on another part-time job
- Ask for extra hours at work or ask for a raise
- Turn your skills or hobbies into dollars
If you’re able to set up additional income streams, it’s important that you put this money towards your savings. One common result of a pay raise at your work is “lifestyle inflation.” This occurs when you spend more as a result of making more money. Avoid this situation by having a plan for new income already in place.
10. Pay Yourself First
Lastly, commit to paying yourself first each month. You do this by making a deposit every month into your savings account before paying your other bills, even if it's only a minimal amount. The more accustomed you become to doing this, the quicker your savings will increase.
We’re Here to Help!
Saving more money each month doesn’t have to be complicated. It simply requires planning and a little self-discipline. However, the advantages start kicking in fast and increase over time. With a healthy cushion in your account, you’ll be protected in case of an emergency or unexpected expenses and have funds available to treat yourself and your family.
To learn more about AgFed’s saving options or to set up automated savings tools, such as direct deposit, give as us a call at 202-479-2270 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.