Committing to bettering your finances doesn’t just have to be a new year’s resolution; it’s a worthy goal you can tackle any time of the year. But if just thinking about giving your budget a second thought is enough to make you break out in a cold sweat, don’t worry. We’ve compiled three easy steps you can take today that will help you improve your finances completely stress-free.
Ready to get started?
1. Automate Your Savings
Between mobile apps and extra services offered by banks, it’s easy to automate your savings so you can build your nest egg without worrying about over-spending. One easy way to do this is to split up your direct deposit paycheck between checking and savings. Because the money automatically goes into your savings account, you’re not tempted to spend it on non-necessities throughout the month.
Another tactic is to sign up for a mobile app that helps you save when you perform certain behaviors. There are countless options, such as rounding up each purchase to the next dollar and depositing the change into savings. Pick one that makes sense for you and you’ll see your savings grow without even trying.
2. Weed Out Extraneous Expenses
While you eventually want to give your monthly budget an in-depth review to see what you can cut back on, there’s no time like the present to make a few small changes that can quickly add up. Here are three suggested expenses you can reduce or eliminate today to improve your finances stress-free.
Cancel One Subscription Service
The first place to consider cutting back on is your monthly subscription services. It’s easy to accumulate these automatic fees that may only seem like a few dollars a month. From streaming music and movies to receiving regular subscription boxes, it’s very possible that you could be shelling out a large chunk of change without even realizing it.
For a totally stress-free tactic, challenge yourself to cancel just one subscription. If you’re trying to build your savings account or pay down debt, make sure that extra money is going toward your financial goal. Otherwise, you can put it toward any other savings goal you have, like an upcoming vacation. Even saving an extra $12 can add up to $144 a year, and if you can cancel one additional subscription each month, you’ll really start to see your financial situation improve.
Opt Out of Overdraft Protection
While overdraft protection might seem like a wonderful convenience, it’s also an expensive one. Overdraft fees can cost as much as $35 per incident and if you come up short just once a month each year, that adds up to a whopping $420 you’ll spend annually. To avoid this costly service and get motivated to stay on top of how much cash you have in your bank account, opt out of overdraft protection completely.
Yes, you may end up having your card declined at a cash register, but you also won’t be adding a $35 premium to that purchase. To help improve your finances stress-free with this tactic, sign up for balance text alerts with your bank. That way, you’ll know when your account is about to hit $0 and you can avoid the cash register altogether.
Downgrade Your Cell Phone Plan
You might be tempted to moan and groan at this suggestion; after all, most people use their phone for just about everything these days. But downgrading your cell phone plan is a simple way to cut back on expenses without having to adjust other areas of your spending. One easy way to do this is to limit your data usage.
You don’t need to totally cut back on your phone browsing. Instead, connect your phone to your home Wi-Fi network to avoid using up your data. You can do the same thing on public networks at school, the coffee shop, or the office. Just be cognizant of entering passwords or other sensitive information when on a public network. A simple step can help you gain control over your finances with just a simple Wi-Fi login.
3. Fix Your Credit
Another easy way to improve your finances while staying stress-free is to repair your credit. This can save you money on expensive interest rates on credit cards and loans. Once you see a boost in your credit score, you can negotiate for a better rate on your credit card and potentially refinance loans to lower your monthly payments.
For a free credit repair consultation, contact Ovation Credit today.