Time for a Fall Financial Clean Up
9 Tips for Saving and Spending Heading into the Holiday Season
Fall is here and it is time to take a closer look at your finances. It is the perfect time of year to take stock of your spending and saving. Summer vacations and back to school shopping are in the past, but now it is time to deal with what you spent and what you still owe. There is a lot to do before winter sets in and holiday spending begins.
The first crucial step in evaluating your financial situation is to know what you are dealing with. What is your balance on your checking account and savings account? Do you have any credit card debt?
Start with a plan
It is important to make a financial plan for yourself or your family. Determine what steps need to be taken to achieve those goals. How long will you need to achieve these goals? You will be amazed at how a few small changes in your financial habits can help you save money.
Look at all of your bills. What are your fixed expenses? What are you spending every month?
Are there any lifestyle changes that need to take place in order to meet your financial goals? It is important to determine which expenses demand the most of your money. Identify areas where you can realistically cut back. Develop a plan and stick with it!
Financial Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals:
- Request a free copy of your credit report. Get a copy of your report from the three major credit bureaus and review them for inaccuracies. Determine if there is anything you can do to improve your credit score.
- Creating a budget is the best thing you can do for yourself to establish financial success. Managing your money well is the key! Track your expenses and identify areas where changes can be made. A range of apps and software programs can be used to help you track your spending. Prioritizing and categorizing your spending will help in differentiating between the expenses that you need such as mortgage or rent, groceries, and utilities, and the items you want. A budget should help you determine if you are living within your means and help you understand where you are spending your money.
- Eliminate unnecessary expenses. Determine if you are spending money on items you do not need. Is there gym membership you are not using? Are you splurging on items that you can live without? Keep what you use on a regular basis and cancel the rest.
- Pay off your debt. Figure out how much you can afford to pay each month and then determine your goal from there. If you have multiple credit cards, tackle the card with the higher interest rate first.
- Boost your savings account. Make a point to add funds to this account. Set up automatic transfers into your savings. Consider what you are saving for. This will help keep you motivated to save. Are you saving for retirement, a down payment on a house, a luxurious vacation, or a college education?
- Time for shredding! Gather any financial paperwork you have been holding on to. Sort through it and decide what to keep and what to shred. Tax records, legal documents, and warranties should be kept. Bills, bank statements, and pay stubs can easily be accessed online and should be shredded.
- Find frugal fall activities for your family to participate in. Festivals, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and haunted houses are a few of the activities available in the fall that are relatively inexpensive.
- Set up ACH payments. Pay your bills automatically each month and never miss a payment again. Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments are electronic payments that pull funds directly from your checking account. The money automatically moves from your bank account, avoiding the need to write a check or initiate a credit card transaction. ACH is the largest payment network in the United States. Be sure to set the bill to pay each month when you are sure adequate funds are available in your account. Online bill payment is another quick, convenient way to pay bills. Our online bill pay platform is referred to as Move Money.
- Time to go digital with your bills and bank statements. This will help keep you more organized and help protect you from fraud.
The time to start getting your finances in order is now! The holiday season is right around the corner. Costs add up quickly. If you haven’t started setting aside money for these holiday expenses, start right away.
Jarrettsville Federal Savings and Loan wants to help you with your fall financial clean up. We put down roots in the community in 1869 as a strong, stable financial institution. Over the years, we have developed relationships that span generations. We are proud of over 150 years of true community banking.
Today, we continue to thrive, with checking, savings and loan products that meet our customers’ needs, technology that brings us into the future, and community service that gives back to our customers. Contact us at 410 -692- 5151 or visit our website at https://www.jarrettsvillefederal.com/.