Every year we pledge to lose weight and save more in the new year. Yet, most fail to see their goals through. While we’re not in the business of healthy eating (donuts, need we say more?), we can offer you tips for reaching your financial resolution goals. Continue reading for six great tips!
Pay Yourself First
It's important to take care of you first because if you pay yourself last, you’re less likely to pay yourself at all. Paying yourself could mean depositing money into a savings account or contributing to a 401(k) or Roth IRA. No matter what you choose, plan to sock 5-20% of your income away each month.
If you’re going the savings route, 4Front offers Plinqit, a savings platform that will help you save and pay you to learn about money. Based on your set goals, Plinqit will automatically pull money from your checking account and place it into savings. You don’t even have to think about it! You set your goals and, if you know you’ll be tempted to pull that money out, set a penalty. But, reach your goal and get rewarded. Slide the scale based on your confidence; a bigger reward means a higher penalty, or keep it casual and just save, no reward or penalty needed.
Budget or create a spending plan
Do you have a budget? Do you know what your monthly expenses are? Now is the time to sit down with your last few bank statements and dig into the life of your money. Where does it go? What’s it doing? Knowing what your spending looks like will go a long way to increase the amount you can save each month. A spending plan will allow you to choose what you spend your money on instead of restricting yourself on what you can’t spend. As a rule of thumb, start with necessary expenses that include items such as housing, utilities, groceries and savings. After that, create other categories your remaining funds can go to, such as entertainment and travel.
Already a 4Front member? Utilize 4Sight FullView and manage all your 4Front and external accounts. You can track your savings and spending, monitor cash flow, create budgets and more. You’re automatically enrolled in it with your 4Front online and 4FrontGo mobile banking display. It’s that easy.
Review your subscriptions
We said it. Re-evaluate your relationship with those monthly expenses. Are you really utilizing all those services? Are you reading People every week, or does it go right to recycling? Did you sign-up for a free Netflix 30-day trial and forget you even had it? Put an end to unnecessary auto debits.
These days, it’s not just entertainment streaming subscriptions to keep track of, but others from cosmetics and razor blades to meal plans and clothing. Take a look at the services you subscribe to and see if there are any you could eliminate.
Investing goes right along with the "pay yourself first" we mentioned earlier. Make your money work for you. Sure, it could sit all snug and cozy in your savings account or it could get out there and do something! Investing doesn’t have to be scary or confusing, just resolve to do it.
4Front offers Financial Planning through CUSO Financial Services, L.P.* and can provide insight and guidance based on an understanding of your unique situation. We offer this service to enhance your investment experience and better recommend
strategies and solutions to help meet your long and short-term financial objectives. It makes it easy so why wouldn’t you make an appointment?
Pay down debt
Look for financial freedom and pay down your existing debt. After you pay yourself and your monthly expenses, use the extra cash to kick your debt to the curb. There are a number of tactics out there to get a handle on debt and all you need to do is take a stand and get it done.
If you’re not sure where to start, 4Front is pleased to offer its membership the services of its on-staff certified financial counselors. From budgeting to navigating financial hardships and everything in-between, our certified financial
counselors work one-on-one with members to help them develop achievable and worthwhile financial habits.
Check your credit score more often
Keeping an eye on your credit score and report are not only good for financial health but also important for keeping your money safe. Regularly checking your score and report will bring your attention to anything that doesn’t look right and could be potential fraud.
Already a 4Front member? Log-in to your account and utilize SavvyMoney, see your credit score and your credit report all in one place. You're also entitled to a free copy of your reports each year from the three major credit reporting agencies:
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Visit Annual Credit Reporting to get started. Raisin your score can get your better rates when it comes time to buy a car or house, so you’d be silly not to work on it!
Whether you’re looking to save, boost your credit score, or pay down debt, we think these 6 tips will jump start your year of financial success!
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. 4Front Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.