“Frugal February” is here! We’ve gotten past the gift-giving holidays (for the most part, that is—we see you Valentine’s Day), and as the shortest month of the year, it’s the perfect time to practice your saving habits without feeling too pinched for pennies. The American Bankers Association offers these seven tips to establish good saving habits:
- Pay yourself first. If you wait to see what's left over, you are less likely to save. Determine in advance how much money you plan to keep on 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 transfer 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. Although 97 percent of Americans pay their bills on time, some consumers find themselves paying 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, convenient locations 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, look into bonds, mutual funds, real estate and stocks.
- Consult your local bank. Village Bank can assist you with determining which package of bank products and services would best suit your needs—such as savings accounts, money markets, certificates of deposits, health savings accounts and IRAs. Give us a call to learn more!
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