Ah, the New Year. A time to hope, dream and start fresh… with a new personal budget. As many recover from holiday (over)spending, and distant memories of shredding colored wrapping and gluttonous dinners fill the air, New Year’s resolutions about budget planning are in full force.
And what better time than the New Year to start budgeting for the 365 days ahead? Help the members of your community get out of the red and prepare for their financial futures. Offering our helpful tips on little ways to spend less and save more is the first step to helping Big Spenders reclaim control of their bank accounts.
Ready, Set... Budget!
Controlling bad spending habits is vital to any successful budget plan. Here are 6 easy ways to make sure your bank account is bigger than your credit card debt:
1. Don’t use credit cards.
Always use cash. This will help you think twice before spending money. If you have to use your credit card, pay your bill in full. Don’t make the minimum payment and let the charge accumulate interest. You’ll end up paying more for the item that way; it’ll become a bigger expense.
2. Save your tax rebates or raises.
Even a small weekly increase adds up over time. If you have debt, use the extra money to pay down your debt.
3. Shop around for the best deals.
Do your research on long-distance providers, Internet providers, cable companies, etc. You might find less expensive services or negotiate a better deal with your existing providers. Do the same with your bank. Look for no-frills checking and savings accounts with low service fees.
4. Don’t pay for simple services.
Do things yourself that you might be paying others to do, such as caring for your lawn or washing your car. These routine expenses add up.
5. Never “buy now and pay later.”
When making big-ticket purchases, make sure you can afford to pay for the item in full. “Buy now, pay later” pricing strategies may lead you to think you’re getting a good deal, but did you know you might get a discount if you pay in cash up front? Work your big-ticket needs into your spending plan and don’t go shopping until you have the cash to pay for them.
6. Don’t overspend on gifts.
Don’t overextend yourself during the holidays or give extravagant gifts for birthdays. Get creative about gift-giving and make it mean something. Gifts from the heart are more valuable than gifts paid for with a credit card.
Get Your Community’s Spending Habits in Check!
With just the right amount of knowledge and encouragement, anyone can get a handle on their spending and saving habits – and change them for the better. Spread the word on personal budget planning and responsible spending to help community members take control of their hard-earned cash and wisely invest in their futures.
For more information on various budget planning products available to purchase for your leaders, project managers and community members, browse the QuickSeries® library of finance guides, including 10-Step Spending Plan.