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Surprise! It’s another new year. Like clockwork, we associate the new year with self-improvement or starting something new. While the thought of bettering ourselves is intriguing, it tends to bring on a wave of stress and anxiety. Why? It’s not that the want to isn’t there…it’s the how to that gets us. Moreover, the lack of knowledge of resources or tools available to help us keep New Year’s resolutions doesn’t help either.
We can help.
We’re committed to simplifying your banking experience and, by doing so, reducing the stress that comes with dealing with finances and keeping yourself “out of the red.” Your credit union is comprised of people who share similar financial goals and challenges who also want to keep New Year’s resolutions.
Tip the scale in your favor. When making this year’s list of resolutions and goals, keep these 5 tips in mind. You might just see your waistline shrink while your savings expand.
How Your Credit Union Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
Get a grip on finances.
Knowing where your money is going gives you more confidence, and as a result, you can control it better. If keeping better track of where your money is going is part of your new year’s resolutions, use online and mobile banking and e-Statements to keep track of your money. Use MoneyDesktop™ (accessible through online banking) to sort purchases and deposits into categories. You can identify areas you might want to reassign funds for a better purpose – like saving and paying off high-interest loans (or swapping a few fast-food purchases each month for a basic gym membership).
Get a better, higher-paying job by improving your credit history.
You already know about the gifts and decorations. Here are some holiday expenses you may have not included in your budget this year, along with creative ways to beat them
#1: Wrapping paper
It all ends up in the garbage, but did you know that wrapping paper for your gifts can cost close to $100?
Save big: by purchasing next year’s wrapping paper in January. It won’t go bad and you’ll be ahead of your holiday expenses almost a full year in advance!
All those twinkling lights can cost a pretty penny – or more than an extra $50 in your electric bill.
Save big: by switching your lights to LEDs. You can also consider leaving your lights on for only a few hours a night, such as during the early evening hours.
#3: Interest on credit cards
Too many shoppers put holiday expenses on credit cards and then pay a whole lot more because of interest.
Save big: by sticking to debit cards and cash only. If you must use a credit card, be sure to pay your bill before it starts accruing interest.
#4: Last-minute gifts
Who has time to shop for bargains when it’s two days to Christmas and you’ve only just remembered your boss’s kids?
Save big: by skipping non-essential gifts. Also consider homemade gifts or re-gifting presents you’ve never used.
#5: Eating out
Last-minute holiday prep got you too busy to cook? You might be spending more than you realized on takeout food this month.
Save big: by cooking and freezing a few meals ahead of time for those crazy, hectic, pre-holiday evenings. If you can’t hack it without buying dinner a few times this month, consider purchasing an entrée only and then adding your own sides, salads and beverages at home.
Don’t forget to set aside savings for the holidays. Next year, make a plan for how you’ll spend your time and money during the busy holiday season and you just might find out how much more merry the season will feel.
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