We’re kicking off the New Year and Financial Wellness Month with tips and tricks to help you crush your 2024 goals. Whether you want to achieve your dream of homeownership sooner rather than later or simply want to beef up your savings account for some home improvements you want to make, we’ve got you.
As you’re establishing or beginning to work towards your goals, give these 6 tips a try!
- HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE. Write your financial goals on post-it notes and place them in locations that you frequent, so that they stay top of mind. Take it a step further by telling your friends and family, so they can check in and hold you accountable.
- CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORES REGULARLY. Checking your credit score regularly can help you to know where you stand and potential areas that you can improve. We recommend downloading a credit tracking app like Credit Karma or visiting annualcreditreport.com.
- SHOP YOUR INSURANCES YEARLY. Home, renters, and auto insurance premiums can vary dramatically by company. Gather quotes from at least 3 different companies to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
- OPEN A HIGH-YIELD SAVINGS ACCOUNT. High-yield savings accounts pay significantly higher interest rates on your money than traditional savings accounts, allowing your savings to grow more rapidly. Be sure to set up automatic deposits either from your checking account or have part of your paycheck go directly into the savings account.
- KEEP YOUR CREDIT UTILIZATION BELOW 30%. Credit utilization plays a major role in your credit score. Your credit utilization is simply the portion of your available credit you use, expressed as a percentage. The less available credit you use, the better it is for your score. We recommend that you always try to use less than 30% of your available credit. To keep track of your spending, you can set up balance alerts with your credit card company.
- EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS WITH STUDENT LOANS. If you have student loans, explore the various Income Driven Repayment Plans to have your monthly payments adjusted to your income. To get started, head over to https://studentaid.gov/idr/.
Want to go above and beyond to achieve your goals? You’re in luck because we have compiled some fun money challenges for you to try.
- NO-SPEND CHALLENGE. The no-spend challenge helps you save by guiding you to only spend money on essential items (i.e. groceries, gas, etc.). The traditional challenge lasts for 30 days, but you can adjust this time frame.
- THE PANTRY CHALLENGE. Instead of grocery shopping, look in your pantry and get creative to make meals out of what you already have. This helps you clear your pantry, stop wasting food, and save money at the same time.
- NO EATING OUT FOR A MONTH CHALLENGE. A significant portion of people’s food budget often goes towards eating out. By choosing to eat at home for a month, you can quickly accumulate savings and give your savings account a healthy boost.
- THE CHANGE YOUR GROCERY STORE CHALLENGE. If you’re spending a lot at the grocery store, maybe you’re shopping at the wrong grocery store. Take your shopping list to the nearest discount grocery store (like Walmart) and apply your grocery savings to your savings account.
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