Was ‘saving money’ or ‘making more money’ on your list of New Year’s resolutions?
Are you one of the millions of Americans who reach each payday with less than a few hundred dollars in your checking account, or even a completely empty checking account?
If you’re looking for some simple ways to save more money this year and start building real wealth without cramping your lifestyle, here are a few simple and unique ideas (no coupon clipping involved!) to get you on your way to a fat bank account by the end of the year.
There is a really easy way to track your spending and create a budget that does not involve writing everything down in a spreadsheet! Create a free account at Mint.com where you can safely and securely attach your bank account(s), credit cards, investments, and loans to monitor spending and saving habits. Each week or month, you can see where your money went, and you’ll be able to easily pinpoint the wasteful areas where you can make simple changes to reduce waste and save money. In addition to monitoring your spending habits, Mint’s system will monitor your savings and investments so you can see how well you’re increasing your net income over time as well.
When your cash is all lumped together in your checking account, it’s nearly impossible to save for the long-term, because you always have access to 100% of your money. There is one simple hack you can use to make sure your priorities are taken care of without feeling like you’re giving up any money: create separate accounts for each of your priorities. Long-term investments belong in an IRA or 401k account, automatically deducted from your paycheck if possible. If your employer offers direct deposit, you then also have the option of having some of your paycheck automatically deposited in a separate account. We suggest having 10% of each paycheck (after retirement funds are deducted) transferred into a separate savings account that is not attached to your checking account (no easy transfers to spend this money) and that you don’t carry an ATM card for. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your savings grows when you’re not looking at it every day and don’t have easy access to it.
Did you know you may be able to refinance your car loan to save money? Most people know there are similar opportunities for their mortgage, but don’t realize that one of their biggest monthly expenses, their high interest auto loan, can also be renegotiated. Contact us today to apply for car loan refinancing! Once you establish a new, lower monthly payment, immediately transfer the savings each month into a separate savings account or long-term investment. A $100 savings on your car payment each month can add up to $1,200 in your bank account at the end of the year! The best part is, you’ll never miss it because you never had it in your hands to spend!
This one involves some creative thinking. What skills do you have that would be valuable to others? What can they provide for you in exchange? A simple trade is a skills-for-skills swap such as: a massage therapist giving free massages to her hairstylist in exchange for haircuts, or a photographer taking engagement photos for a graphic designer in exchange for the designer crafting brochures for the photographer. Can you offer to prepare a weeks’ worth of dinners for a family that can watch your kids after school? In American culture, we typically look to exchange money for services in all situations, but some creative bartering between friends and associates is often much more beneficial for everyone involved, and allows you to pocket the cash you would have spent on these services.
The average American spends more than $2,600 each year on dining out. Imagine what you could do with an extra $2,600 in your pocket! You don’t have to completely cut dining out from your lifestyle, but consider a few simple swaps to cut your spending down while padding your savings account:
Limit your dining out to a drink and appetizer, but have a full dinner at home.
Check out restaurants.com and groupon.com for great offers at thousands of restaurants. Invite friends for dinner at your place, then ask them to host the next one.
We are here to help you meet your savings goals! Grow your savings effortlessly with Kasasa Saver. Earn automatic rewards transfers from your Kasasa checking account. Learn more about Kasasa Saver here.
As an MVCU member, you have access to free budgeting tools right inside your online banking! Explore these features: Creating Budgets and Creating Savings Goals
Category: Saving & Investing Money
According to a recent study, the average American household spends $64 per month on internet service. If you’re looking to reduce that cost, here are some ways to do that.
It’s tax season again! Do you dread filing your taxes each year? We don’t have any secrets for making the process more fun, but we do have some tips that will hopefully make it a bit easier.
They say money and friends don’t mix, and there’s certainly some truth to that. However, life isn’t always black and white. One day you might find yourself in a situation where you are pondering lending money to a loved one. If that happens, consider the following before going through with the transaction.
Will there be a sweet tax refund check coming your way? Even though you may be excited about this lump sum of cash hitting your banking accounts, consider your options before going on a shopping spree. If you use this money to your advantage, you could improve your finances for long-term benefits. Here are some smart ways to spend your tax refund:
Giving children an allowance can help them build better spending and saving habits. It’s hard to learn the true value of money without actually having some money to save and spend. That’s why setting aside a specific amount each week as an allowance for your children can be a good way to show them, among other things, that cash is a limited resource.
Setting a financial goal is easy. Attaining that goal is the hard part. Here are some ways to make the road to your financial goal as smooth as possible.
Winter is here, which means it’s time to start focusing on your heating bills. If you use gas to heat your home, inflation is going to make things tough. According to a study from the Energy Information Administration, you’ll likely spend about 30 percent more on heating costs this winter. No matter how you heat your home, there are ways to reduce the expense. Here are some tips that should help:
Was ‘saving money’ or ‘making more money’ on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Are you one of the millions of Americans who reach each payday with less than a few hundred dollars in your checking account, or even a completely empty checking account?
According to a study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, groceries are going to get more expensive. The report suggested prices will likely increase between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent during the next year. One way to save on groceries is to buy things in bulk. Here are some items that are usually worth buying in bulk:
Maybe you are saving up for a big post pandemic vacation or a new home or both. Maybe you’re just done being — or at least feeling — broke every January. Whatever the reason, it’s possible to make it through the holiday season and live within your means so you can keep on stashing away cash for your short-term and long-term financial goals.
Did you know the average US adult spends over $700 a year on gifts? In addition, we often can’t help ourselves while we’re shopping for others, and we end up also spending money on ourselves while out shopping. And that’s not even including the hundreds of dollars we spend on wrapping, cards, groceries, decorations, clothes and hairstyling for parties, and the gas, mileage, babysitting, and restaurant expenses it takes to get out and go shopping.
It’s that time of year again, when the weather starts getting cooler, and kids start getting excited about trick-or-treating for Halloween! Have you noticed the specialty Halloween stores popping up nearby your community? Have no fear– you can make your own Halloween costumes and save some money in the process!
There’s a growing community of people who are strategically planning to retire much earlier than 65, 60, or even 50 years old. These people are making radical changes to their lifestyles and financial plans. They are looking to achieve “financial independence” and to “retire early.” Shortened to an acronym, that becomes F-I-R-E, and the FIRE movement is gaining popularity with millennials.
Are you expecting a tax refund this year? While it can be exciting to have an unexpected chunk of cash suddenly available, consider your options before going on a shopping spree. You could use this money to your advantage and improve your finances for long-term benefits. Here are some smart ways to spend your tax refund:
School shopping might look a little different this year, but here are some timeless tips for how to save money during the “back to school” shopping season.
Did you know that there are special rewards available to you as a member of Merrimack Valley Credit Union? Here are some of the fabulous benefits our members enjoy:
How would your life change if you were able to save $200 a month? Did you know that’s less than $7 per day? It could be as easy as skipping a fancy latte and snack each day. If you make this a daily habit, save this little stash of money, and utilize it smartly… it can do wonders for your financial situation over time.
Do you know about Massachusetts’ first statewide college savings program, BabySteps? The goal of this program is to ensure every family has the opportunity for future success! BabySteps will provide $50 towards every child born or adopted in the Commonwealth upon opening a 529 college savings account. This program is designed to help all parents save for their child’s higher education, and level the playing field for all children in Massachusetts.
Each May there’s a special “Herb Day” holiday in May, which was created in 2006 to encourage people to learn more about how to use herbs in their daily lives. So what does this have to do with your finances?
Using debt consolidation as a tool to lower your monthly payments and interest If you’re like most Americans, you may be juggling several different payment responsibilities each month: credit cards, car loans, store credit cards, gas credit cards and even student loans. It can be overwhelming!
It is officially summertime, you’ve put in the request for some time off at work and you’re ready for some much needed R&R! You finally start to plan out your vacation getaway, and then… you see that the expenses are adding up quickly. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and realize you’re out of money. So how do you plan a vacation without overspending, that also fits your budget?!
When you’re 25 years old, retirement seems so far away. Even though I have at least 40 more years in the work force (sigh) I still know that one day I am going to be burnt out from working 5 days a week- I already am! Eventually, I’ll need to stop working as hard as I am now to enjoy some relaxation except I can’t get to that point if I run out of money prematurely.
Hi my name is Olivia and I am a total clothes horse. I buy for a mixture of reasons, including being a spin instructor so always “needing” new workout sets or severely overestimating the amount of times I go outside my house. In reality, I wear the same t-shirt and sweatpants every day (yay for working from home!). Essentially, I have spent so much on clothes that my bedroom has started to look like a TJ Maxx popup shop.
When I was young, I was gifted the coolest plastic safe. It was deep grey with a bright purple handle that you would spin to open and it had clinking sound effects whenever you opened the safe and deposited money. Since this was before I had a savings account, I threw all of my money in there until it would all fall out when I opened the safe.
You could spend this summer between high school and college vegging out, or you could use the next few months to get ahead. Here are some quick tips for making the most of this special summer:
According to a survey from CreditCards.com, “47% of Americans are carrying credit card debt.” This statistic would make my grandfather furious if he heard it. He would often say to me, “Vivi, the world started to go downhill once they introduced plastic money!” Following my grandfather’s testament to the downfall of society, he would then tell me the story of how he used to always leave a wad of cash in his work locker for emergencies.
When you were a little kid, did you dream of being a millionaire? Did it sound like a magical fantasy that would allow you to live a luxurious life? Well… experts are now warning that one million dollars may no longer be enough savings to fund your retirement, depending on your personal circumstances.
This is a great time of year to get organized and back on track. Something about the return of regular schedules after a nice summer break leaves many people feeling ready to take on the world. Still, going into the end of the calendar (and tax) year can also leave us a bit anxious about our financial situations.
It’s a new year and a fresh start. Did you make any financial resolutions for the New Year? Here are 3 common financial resolutions, and some ideas of how to actually accomplish them this year:
It’s a new year! Now is a great opportunity to develop some positive savings habits to build or refresh your Emergency Savings account.
Life is unpredictable. It doesn’t matter how much you plan; sometimes, things pop up that can be very expensive! Having money saved for planned and unplanned events can help you manage financial stress.
Who doesn’t love the freedom of being able to purchase anything from the comfort of your couch? So many consumers have pivoted from in-store purchases to surfing the web for their wants and needs. Here are five ways to save money or get rewards for your purchases when shopping online:
Are you tired of having to choose between saving money and having fun? Do you find it challenging to stick to a budget because you need to catch up on the things that make life enjoyable? Here are six easy ways to enjoy life while still being financially responsible!
We all know that we need to have money saved for a rainy day or for fun things like vacations or nights out! However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all savings account. There are several ways to save money, and each type of account has different benefits. Understanding all your options is key to making the right decision for your financial needs:
It’s that time of year again: the temperatures are high, and the kids are home on summer vacation. Summer vacation is a time to make memories and spend quality time together as a family. However, it can also be challenging and expensive to keep kids busy. We’ve put together some simple craft projects you can make at home. Save yourself from hearing “I’m bored” without spending an arm and a leg!
Getting older isn’t the worst thing, especially with all the senior discounts available. Whether you are grocery shopping or buying new shoes, you might be able to score some savings. Here’s a list of 10 spots in our own backyard that offer discounts. Please note that discounts occasionally change, so please contact your local stores ahead of time to confirm!