Give Your Money a Great Start in 2020
Now that the holiday season is behind you, it’s time to look forward. The new year is a perfect opportunity to evaluate your current financial situation, set goals, and put a plan into action.
Below are some tips to help you save money for retirement, an emergency fund, or even a new home. Every little bit you do can pay big dividends, and the sooner you start, the more money you’ll save!
Track your spending.
A great way to start saving is to track spending for a month — all spending. You will be surprised where your money goes in a typical month. Was picking up a caramel macchiato on the way to work worth it, or would you rather have that $105 back every month? Is there a better way to use that money?
Get into the budget mindset.
Once you get a handle on your spending, you can make a realistic budget without it feeling restrictive. You’ll see results right away, which will motivate you to stay on track.
If you don’t have a budget, or have one and don’t stick to it, you’re throwing away money you could use to add to your savings. “Out of sight, out of mind” will eventually lead to “out of money.”
Refinance your mortgage.
Refinancing at a lower rate can save you hundreds of dollars a month. Before you refinance, try to avoid taking on new debt, keep an eye on mortgage rates, and review your credit report to make sure there are no errors that might negatively affect you. At First Nebraska Bank, we have qualified professionals to walk you through the process and help you get the best rate possible.
Break your goals down into bite-size pieces.
The best way to meet your long-term goals is to turn them into a series of short-term realistic goals. Success is contagious. Achieving smaller goals will keep you motivated. For example, if you want to save $50,000 in five years, you’ll need to save $10,000 a year, or $834 a month. If you can’t get your budget to account for that much monthly savings, you may adjust your goal to keep it realistic.
Here are a few tips you can do every day to add to your savings.
- Create a meal plan and stick to it. Planning your groceries will help you leave the grocery store with only what you’ll use.
- Trick yourself. There are many options to have small amounts of money deposited into your savings without you knowing. A few dollars here and a few dollars there can make a big difference over weeks and months.
- Don’t be hasty with large purchases. Let the excitement and anticipation die down for a few days before you make your purchase. You’ll have a better idea of whether you need it or just want it, reducing the chances of buyer’s remorse.
Long-term savings won’t just happen. It takes planning, organization, and discipline. Tracking spending, consistent budgeting, and staying focused on your goals are the keys to successful saving. Think of it as an additional job. You’ll have to put in the work, but it pays well!
Check out our educational modules on budgeting and savings here.
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