Make sure that your tax forms are filled out correctly. Oftentimes people think they are supposed to get a big tax refund each year. Actually, what a large tax refund means is that you have not taken the right amount of deductions. If you spread that tax refund out over a year of paychecks that could easily end up being $100 to $150 more in your paycheck. Instead of giving the government an interest free loan put that money in your savings account.
2. Seasonal employment- I have always been a proponent of having multiple streams of income. Seasonal employment or a part-time job is definitely the way to go. This will not only give you extra cash to save, but could also help with paying down any lingering debt you may have faster.
3. Trick yourself into saving- set up automatic payroll deduction. Even if it is just $20 per pay period, it is a good way to save because you set it up and forget about it. It adds up quickly. And I can’t stress enough that the first step is getting started. Don’t think that you have to have hundreds of dollars to save each pay period. It is making the commitment to saving that is most important.
Also, saving and budgeting can be easier if you get the family involved. With the kids getting ready to go back to school, you can use this as a savings teachable moment.
4. Taking the kids with you when you shopping for back to school items. Show how you select the merchandise you chose to purchase. Discuss sale items, using coupons and how you came up with the budget. Most importantly, let the kids see you put the savings in a savings account or piggy bank. This is a great way to get everyone involved and interested in saving.
There is also a really great program called Savings Safari for kids. Through this program, banks and credit unions open a bank account for kids and make the process fun and interesting. These programs targeted towards kids will be held at your smaller banking institutions.
With a savings safari program, the bank will send out newsletters and updates about saving directly to your child which teaches them about saving and allows them to see their money grow.
With these practical tips, you will be well on your way to financial health.
Black Enterprise Columnist Jennifer Streaks is a Finance expert, Author & Pundit continue the conversation by following her on twitter @JStreaks or visiting her website www.JenniferStreaks.com.