Money habits are not built in a day, but your commitment to strengthening your relationship with your finances can start today.
Before you get started, identify what money path you’re on and access resources that will help you achieve your financial goals.
If you need some inspiration to start building savings, we’ve got you covered. With consistency, these tips will get you closer to your financial goals with ease.
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Personal finance tips
Keep track of your finances and establish a budget: Use tools like Mint.com (or an old-fashioned paper and pen combo) to help you see if your current spending habits align with your priorities and goals.
Resist buying unnecessary items on payday: The easiest way to save money is to not buy anything at all or to stay in the house and offline.
Pay yourself first: Prioritize goal-based, long-term saving categories like retirement and investments before tackling short-term expenses.
Keep an emergency fund: Emergencies can’t always be avoided, but setting aside funds to pay for large, unexpected expenses can help you avoid selling investments at a loss and borrowing more from credit cards or high-interest loans.
Make your money inconvenient: Create a designated, high-yield and online-only savings accounts because they often have a higher interest rate than traditional banks. Choose one that is FDIC-insured and requires the lowest deposit required to open an account.
Automate your savings: Choose an online-only bank account with no check writing abilities or debit card access so you’ll be forced to think twice about dipping into your savings.
Save your coins: Whether you take public transportation or need quarters for laundry, saving your coins in a jar at home is a key way to avoid touching other funds.
Holiday money-saving tips
Create a list: Jot down all of the names you want to buy a gift for, including yourself.
Create a budget: Pre-shop online, list prices clearly and any discounts to figure out how much money you will need.
Check your rewards card: Cash in your rewards and/or cash back for gifts or general savings.
Buy gas with a rewards credit card: Although, some gas stations charge a lower price per gallon if you pay with cash rather than a credit card, responsible credit card usage can reap rewards at the gas pump.
Find apps with cheaper gas rates: Free apps like GasBuddy, Waze, WEX Connect, and Upside can help you pinch pennies at the pump.
Fill up on Mondays and Fridays: A 2022 survey by GasBuddy found that gas is the cheapest on Mondays in most states across the country, while Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday were the most expensive days.
Unsubscribe and cancel unused subscriptions: Opt out of marketing emails from your favorite brands and save valuable money if certain subscriptions are no longer serving you.
Keep yourself entertained on a budget: Check out your local library for free and fun entertainment options like classes, games, events, video game rentals, and more. Also, many aquariums, museums, and zoos waive admission fees on certain days.
Create a fun fund: While dates can be expensive, you and your partner can decide how much money you want to save each month in a jar or account, then take turns deciding how it will be spent.
Buy in bulk: It’s easy to eat up your check, especially on pay day. Save on groceries by buying food items in bulk that don’t expire quickly like milk, bread, and cereal.
Meal prep: This saves time, money, and the headache of last-minute planning and grocery shopping. Simply prepare ingredients that are already in your pantry and focus on one or two meal types per week.
Debt savings tips
List all of your debt from lowest to highest: Grab a pen or online spreadsheet and get to work. Once this is completed, refer to your budget, and figure out how much money you can squeeze out of it to pay off your debt plan.
Pay only the minimum amount required on all of your debt, with the exception of the one debt you are trying to pay off: Paying only the minimum on your debt with high balances means that it will increase. Before starting your debt pay-down plan, try and transfer the debt with the high-interest rates to new cards with lower rates.
Use “round-up” features for card purchases: Sign up for round-up apps and debit cards that round up your everyday purchases to the nearest dollar, automatically depositing your change into a savings account.
Automate your bills: Set up automated payments to cover bills and direct deposits to fuel savings accounts.