6 Tips for Budgeting and Saving
Prepare your finances for a significant life event, unexpected surprise, or if you’re just looking for ways to build your savings – we’re here to help.
- Create a Budget
The first step for understanding your finances is to set up a budget. To begin, subtract your monthly expenses from your income. You can use any remaining money to help build your savings for a rainy day, or pay off larger expenses. If you use a debit or credit card, we make it easy to track your expenses – our helpful Money Manager tool can automatically keep a history of your transactions, helping you to recognize your spending habits. It’s a convenient way to create reasonable goals, start planning your budget, and help you keep these goals within reach.
- Pay Yourself First
Bills, bills, bills! Are you finding it difficult to save after emptying your wallet to cover your monthly expenses? If so, try changing your perspective and “pay yourself first.” That means putting away a small amount of money before paying bills or expenses. If you stay committed, you’ll witness your savings balance grow in no time!
- Automate for Savings Success
While paying yourself first, consider creating an automatic savings plan to simplify the process. You can use your checking account to automatically grow your savings! With our free USaveFirst program, each time you use your debit card, you can elect to add a designated amount to your savings account. Opening a separate account lets you set it, and forget it – and your savings will start to grow.
- Money Manager
Bank Central’s Money Manager tool is a simple, smart, and secure way to manage your finances. With Money Manager, you’ll have the tools to accomplish your financial dreams. View your accounts, track spending, monitor your income, and stay on top of approaching bills with the Cashflow Calendar. You can find the Money Manager tool on our Bank Central Mobile App, or on the Money Manager tab on your smartphone, computer, or tablet.
Budgeting and saving can seem difficult at first, but with a little bit of practice, and sticking to your budget, you’ll accomplish your goals faster than you think. In the end, you can prepare yourself for homeownership, traveling across the world, or building up an emergency fund. You’ll be financially prepared to face any obstacle, and funds to achieve your dreams.
- Cut Expenses
Take a hard look at your weekly and monthly purchases. Little things add up, and cutting these transactions out of your routine will grow your savings even faster. These creative solutions allow you to have fun, while increasing your savings:
- Have fun with free or low-cost programs within your community neighborhoods – like libraries or parks, or create your own adventure and get some exercise while exploring hiking trails.
- Volunteer with a local non-profit, organization, or charity.
- Substitute expensive prepared meals for fresh ingredients and cook cheaper meals made from scratch.
- Take lunches to work instead of purchasing meals.
- Avoid buying bottled water – it’s better for the environment, too!
- Swap out cable, and try less expensive streaming apps.
- Search for bargains at local yard sales or consignment shops.
- Raise Extra Money
Another way to grow your savings balance is finding additional work or hosting a yard sale. Working an extra job, or selling unwanted household items, adds extra money in your pocket. Alongside your automatic savings plan and additional income, your savings balance will skyrocket!
Contributed by Courtney Jespersen, NerdWallet
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