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Save More & Spend Less in the New Year

Are you looking to save more money – and spend less in 2018? We can help. Use the following ways to save to start an emergency fund, contribute towards retirement, become debt free, invest in the stock market, make an extra payment on your mortgage – or save for that vacation you’ve been wanting to take.

1. Build a budget

A simple, hand-written list of expenses and incomes is all you need to get started. Consider putting your budget in an easy to see place like your refrigerator or computer desktop so that it will be a constant reminder of your financial goals and your commitment to those goals. Review account information regularly to check on balances is a good way to keep track of spending and use tools found in St. Anne’s Mobile App, Online Banking or the CardValet® App to track your spending.

2. Automate savings

“Pay yourself first.” Allocate a portion of your paycheck to be automatically deposited into your savings account before you even see it. Also, deposit extra money received from birthdays or holidays right into savings.

3. Brown-bag your lunch (and coffee)

Add up how much you spend on ordering lunch and making a stop through the drive up for a coffee (and a bagel) during the work week, and start bringing your lunch – and coffee – from home.  You can save well over $500 per year by using this practice.

4. Use a change jar

Use only bills, not coins, whenever spending cash – and whenever you come across a $5 bill, set it aside to save. Empty your wallet of any change you receive each day, filling a jar and counting it up at the end of the month, using our free coin counting machines located in our branches.

5. Match bad habits with good habits

Take this challenge: for every $1 you spend on a habit you are trying to break (impulse shopping, purchasing take-out food, etc.) match it with $1 deposited into savings. This will allow you to save and also cut down on habits you are trying to break.

6. Look into better rates

 

Make an appointment with a mortgage originator to see if you would save money by refinancing, and also review savings rates and specials to possibly earn a higher yield on your money.

 

7. Be creative with what you have

Try to be practical about spending habits and think about ways you can save. Expenses can add up quickly, so take some time to reflect on things you don’t necessarily need – for example, your gym membership or cable. Invest in a satellite dish and research online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu – that also offer on-demand workout videos.

8. Don’t pay to use the ATM

 

If you are not near a St. Anne’s branch, look for ATMs with the SUM Network® logo, and you can use your St. Anne’s Credit Union debit card for free!

 

9. Adjust your savings

Whenever you receive a raise, adjust your savings percentage upward – in both your savings account and retirement plan.

10. Pay a loan – to yourself

After you pay off a loan, keep making the monthly payment – deposited into your savings account instead.  You will see the savings add up quickly!

Sources: Money Crashers, Time, CNBC, Business Report