Financial resolutions are popular in January. Right now, you might be recovering from holiday spending or looking towards building a more positive financial future in 2017. Let Financial One Credit Union help you plan for healthier finances this year. Take a look at 15 tips to help you save and make money in 2017.
1. Be realistic. Can you realistically pay your student debt off this year or rid yourself of all credit-card debt? Visualizing realistic goals will make them more feasible. Make them challenging, but ultimately achievable to reach your financial ambitions.
2. Make your goals specific. Planning specific goals will help you envision the finish line more clearly. Think about the exact amounts of debt you want to pay off or how much you want to save each month to make your goals clear and attainable.
3. Make your savings automatic. Designating a portion of your paycheck to your savings account automatically will take away any temptation for you to spend that money. After a few withdraws, you won’t even miss the funds. Think of it as a payment to yourself.
4. Budget. Setting a realistic budget will help you cut down on wasteful spending. Think of it as the outline of your financial future. Prioritize your bills and goals in order to grow your savings.
5. Track your progress. Keep tabs on your personal finances. How much do you spend on average on each expense? Are you meeting your goals each month or do you need to readjust? This is crucial in maintaining good financial habits, illuminating financial mistakes, and achieving your goals.
6. Shop smart. When you do take out your wallet, learn to shop savvier. Use rewards programs, buy in bulk, comparison shop, shop sales, and clip coupons. These practices add up to plenty of savings.
7. To subscribe or not? Online movie and music streaming channels, gym memberships, monthly subscription boxes, and more can rack up a large bill. Review which services you use and drop those you don’t.
8. Use apps to help you save money when shopping. The Target Cartwheel app, for example, is excellent for shaving dollars off of your grocery bills, while Mint is excellent at helping you budget and be more aware of your expenses. For more apps that can help you save, visit here.
9. Refinance. Can you refinance your mortgage, student debt, and insurance rates in order to potentially save thousands of dollars a year? Research your options. Good credit and historically better rates can help.
10. Aim for a raise or new job. Take a look at your resume. Are you recognized fairly for your work? If not, take some time to works towards a promotion and re-negotiate with your boss. Look at these tips for negotiating a raise.
11. Exercise. Get fit to help your finances. Spend less on junk food, transportation costs, and the expenses associated with poor health. This can also help you stay disciplined and motivated for all of your goals.
12. Invest now. Don’t wait to pay off debt before investing especially if your employer matches your contribution. Take this big step to secure your future.
13. Seek small financial opportunities. Make the best of the financial opportunities that head your way. Look for opportunities in tutoring, babysitting, or selling plasma.
14. Offer a skill. Freelancing, teaching a skill, or offering manual labor can also help you find some additional money to pad your budget.
15. Sell your unwanted treasures. In addition to taking control of your finances, uncluttering your home of unwanted possessions can help you make money. Unburden your shelves and rooms of unused electronics, clothes, movies, books, and tools for extra cash.
16. Go secondhand. Visit thrift stores, search garage sales, and scour online deals for treasures and necessities that cost next to nothing.
17. Network. Keep your resume updated and network regularly. You never know which opportunities await to build skills, connect with professionals, and offer higher opportunities.
Financial One Credit Union offers free financial counseling sessions that will help you develop a financial plan that is best suited for your lifestyle, goals, and needs. For more information on these free financial counseling courses, visit our Financial Education and Contact pages.