New year, new you can mean a lot of things to different people. Lose weight, become more social, travel as much as possible, the list goes on. Here are some simple financial tips to get you on track to becoming a more successful you.
Never Miss a Payment
Know when your bills are due each month and make it a habit to pay them on time. By using Bill Pay or setting up automatic payments each month you are setting yourself up for success. Here are the benefits of paying on time:
- No Late Fees. Fee payments don’t go towards your loan balance. The amount may seem trivial but it’s not helping you at all. That’s money you could have paid to your principal amount.
- No Extra Interest. When you pay on time you don’t have extra days accruing interest. Every day past your due date will cost you more money.
- Payoff Amount. Fees and extra interest can make your final payment larger than expected. That could keep you from paying off your loan on time.
Make a Budget and Stick to it
- Add up your monthly income. Use your take-home amount (this means that taxes, benefits and contributions have already been taken out).
- Add up your monthly expenses. Don’t forget things like Netflix and weekly groceries.
- Subtract your expenses from your income. This will help you determine if you can start saving or need to re-evaluate your spending habits.
Give Up Daily Coffee
Ok, maybe not completely give up your coffee, but let’s at least make some minor adjustments. Buying from chain coffee shops can add up pretty quick. Totally worth it though, right? Not if you are looking for ways to save money in 2019.
- Home Brewed. Buying your favorite brand in bulk and making your own coffee will save you a good chunk of change.
- Caffeine Alternatives. Make hot or iced tea as an even cheaper alternative to home brewed coffee.
- Work Coffee. It’s not usually the best tasting but it’s free. What’s more important, coffee or travelling on vacation?
- Take a Walk. Replace a second cup of coffee with a walk. Get your blood flowing and you will perk right up.
- No Coffee at All? Ridiculous, we know, forget we said it.
Stop Paying for Your Checking Account
Are you paying a monthly fee for your checking account? Stop that right now. Or at least evaluate the worth of what you are paying for. Ask yourself these questions before continuing with your current checking account. You may find that a no-fee checking account is in your future.
- Interest. Does the amount of interest you are receiving outweigh the cost each month of having the account?
- Features. Do you pay a fee to use online bill pay? Do you use this service regularly?
- Minimum Balance. Do you have to maintain a minimum daily balance each month or receive a fee?
Save on Home Energy
It’s that time of year again where the windows are closed for months and the dreadful heating bill starts to go up. Don’t let the cold get the best of you this year, start saving money by making these little adjustments in your home.
- Window Blinds. Open any sun-facing window blinds during the day to let the sunshine in and then close them at night.
- Plastic Seal. Lower the chances of any drafts from your windows by sealing them off with plastic. Kits can be purchased at most hardware and department stores.
- Curtains. Hang thermal or heavy curtains in your windows during the winter to keep the heat in and the cold out.
- Weather Stripping. The tighter your home, the more heat will stay in and not waste away heating up the neighborhood. Weather stripping can be placed on windows and doors to help eliminate any drafts.
- Don’t Heat Every Room. Close the doors to rooms that you don’t use frequently. This will restrict the amount of space that you have to heat making it cheaper to maintain.
Ditch the Gym Membership You Never Use
Gym memberships always start out with good intentions. Whether it’s a New Year’s Resolution or just time for a change in your normal routine. But what we don’t need is to pay for something we aren’t using. Here are some tips for getting fit without a gym.
- Online Routines. There are plenty of free workout routines online that can fit your schedule and fitness level.
- Embrace Basic. Buy some basic low cost essentials like free weights, a yoga mat, stability ball etc. There are lots of exercises like push-ups and burpees that only require body weight.
- Take the Stairs. Avoid elevators and escalators and opt for the stairs when you can. Getting fit isn’t strictly a scheduled time during the day.
- Bike in Your Home. If you already own a bike you can buy an indoor bike stand that converts your bike into a stationary bike. No more waiting in line for cardio.
- Get Outside. Run, jump, hike, climb trees, there is so much to do outside. Don’t let the weather stop you from having fun and getting fit.
Take charge of your financial success in 2019. Utilize the Workers mobile app to track your spending habits and keep your savings goals in sight. Remember, success doesn’t happen overnight. Stay diligent but allow yourself to have some fun along the way. Happy saving!