How we manage funds affects our opportunities, sense of security and quality of life – especially during uncertain economic times. It can also help us weather unexpected situations and prepare for our future.
By Brett Delage – Assistant Vice President, Retail Manager
Follow these seven smart money hacks to reach your financial goals and gain peace of mind:
Consider developing a monthly budget that anticipates expenses based on your spending habits and monthly take-home pay. The idea is to avoid having costs exceed income in a way that aligns with your lifestyle.
Life is filled with unplanned expenses that stem from unpredictable circumstances. This impacts financial stability, which is why it’s crucial to have an emergency savings account plan in place to provide cash during stressful times.
An emergency savings account is a separate cash fund, a rainy-day safety net that offsets expenses from an unforeseen financial crisis. This may include injury, sickness, job loss, appliance repair or something similar. Such a fund is intended to help pay for things that wouldn’t normally be included in a normal budget.
Committing a certain portion of your income to savings each month helps grow your wealth. When you receive your paycheck, consider putting a certain amount of the money toward savings first, then live off the rest. It may help to auto-transfer funds into a savings account, like you can do with Simply Save from Gate City Bank.
It’s smart to set short- and long-term financial goals that are specific. Examples include children’s college funds, car purchases and home repairs. Then, it’s easy to identify progress made toward those goals and recognize if something isn’t making progress to evaluate the reason(s) behind that.
Always aim to pay bills by their due date. Not only will this help you avoid unnecessary accrued interest and late fees, but it will also help your credit score!
Consider only using cash or a debit card to make purchases. By doing so, you may be more inclined to spend less money than you would if you were using a credit card.
The idea is to only spend money that is actually in your possession. Credit cards can easily contribute to rising debt, including an interest rate that will quickly add up.
It pays to have your money work for you, and talking to the right professionals can help.
This is also true for establishing a strong retirement plan. Think about the benefits of contributing to a 401(k) or other workplace plan, where contributions are made with pre-tax dollars and taxes on earnings are deferred until you withdraw from them later in life. Plus, many employers will match all or part of your contribution.
Small life changes can make a big difference. By following these easy tips, you’ll be on the road to greater financial health and a bigger impact to your financial stability!