- Find a bank that is for you:
- Even though interest rates are not what they used to be, you can still earn some serious bucks with savings and banking accounts that offer interest.
- Set up automatic transfers each month from checking to savings or after each pay check is deposited. Even as little as $10 or$15 a month helps. After all, that’s $120 or $180 a year.
- Avoid bouncing checks and overdraft fees. Many banks and credit unions offer “overdraft insurance” that is free. This insurance is really an automatic transfer from savings to checking if a check come through within 3 business days of your paycheck deposit. The $20-30 you save by not bouncing a check each month would save you enough money to nearly fully fund a $500 emergency savings account.
- Consolidate Debt: If you have debt spread out over say several credit cards, or “on account” balances from various services, ask your bank or credit union what consolidation options they offer. Often you can not only reduce the monthly amount needed, but the interest rate as well. The key here is NOT go crazy and rebuild your debt balances with these places. Remember: Taking out a consolidation loan, DOES NOT get you out of debt!
- Participate in a local Investment Development Account (IDA) program. In return for attending financial education sessions and agreeing to save for a home, education, or business, you typically receive $2 for every $1 you save through an IDA program. So, saving $25 each month could end up as $900 at the end of a year.
Next week we will cover Credit and Debit Cards