- Pay yourself first. If you wait to see what income is left over after paying expenses, you are less likely to save. Determine in advance how much money you plan to deposit each month. If you receive a raise, increase the amount of money deposited into your savings account.
- Take advantage of bank technology. Consider automatic payroll deductions or automatic transfers from checking to savings. Arrange to have a specific amount transferred to your savings account every pay period.
- Pay your bills on time and pay more than the minimum amount. While 97 percent of Americans pay their bills on time, some consumers pay late fees. Alleviate the hassle by scheduling time once a month to pay bills, and put them in the mail with enough time to get to the creditor.
- Determine needs versus wants. Do you need to eat out every day for lunch? Do you need that gourmet cup of coffee in the morning? By bringing your lunch to work a couple days a week, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.
- Shop around. There are thousands of options for financial services products. Be selective, and get the best prices, services, and lowest fees for credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, and CDs.
- Consider investments. For long-term goals, such as saving for a home or retirement, consider bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and stocks.
- Consult your local bank. Ask which bank products and services would best suit your needs. Your banker is the best source of information about accounts and interest rates available.
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