New Year’s Savings Resolutions
The new year is here and we all want a fresh start at something. Eat a little better? Check. Get more exercise? Check. But what about your financial health?
Horizon Bank encourages you to make 2016 the year in which you take a few sensible steps toward saving money for your long-term financial goals. Whatever your situation, there’s bound to be one area in which you can make a few little improvements now, for a big difference later.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Pay off debt! We all know that one of the fastest ways to start saving money, is to cut out credit cards. Not only will you have more to put in your savings account each month, but you’ll cut out your long-term interest costs, too.
As you work on this goal, remember:
Pay more than the minimum payment due on your credit card. Depending on your balance, it could take you years and thousands of dollars in interest to pay it all off when you make only minimum payments.
One exception: If you have multiple cards with balances, you could pay the minimum on all but one. Pay extra on that one, and when it’s paid off, you can then make larger payments toward a second card while you pay the minimum on the rest… and so on.
Pay off your entire balance as soon as you can.
2. Address two resolutions at once, by buying fresh produce! You know you can make meals at home for far less than you’ll spend in a restaurant. But did you know that fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables can actually cost less than junk food?
The key is to look at your cost per meal. A $4 bag of potato chips might look like a good deal — until you consider that you could get a few pounds of potatoes for about the same amount. Likewise, you could spend $6 on a frozen pizza, or about the same amount on enough fresh toppings for several homemade pizzas. And you’ll get better nutrition, too!
3. Schedule an automatic transfer from checking to savings. When money is automatically taken out of your checking account on a regular basis, you’ll get used to living on less. The key is to resolve not to dig into your savings account for discretionary spending! Instead, keep it for necessities and/or emergencies.
4. Getting a tax refund? Save it!Instead of making big plans for an expensive purchase, put your tax refund straight into a savings account and hold onto it for the inevitable emergency. Having some cash on hand will not only put you in a more financially stable position, it could prevent you having to use costly credit cards in the future, when a car needs repairs or you have to pay a medical bill.
5. Take advantage of 401(k) plans. If your employer offers it, this is one of the easiest ways to set money aside before you have a chance to spend it. Since contributions are deducted directly from your paycheck, it’s money you won’t miss — and if your employer offers matching funds, your savings quickly compounds!
By saving now, you’ll be in better financial shape in the years ahead! So in 2016, we hope you’ll resolve to make your money work harder for you.
Not sure where to start, or think you can’t do it? Reach out to Horizon Bank at 888-873-2640, and we’ll help you evaluate all your options to start saving today!
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