All Financial Education

Fall into Good Financial Habits

October 19, 2018

Woman on a tablet outside in autumn.

Our habits, good and bad, play a huge role in our success. Establishing what may seem like simple daily practices can lead to huge financial gains in the long term.

  1. Establish a Budget

It may seem old-fashioned, but it is essential. When you don’t track your finances, you have no idea where your money is going and can easily spend more than you earn. Creating a budget will enable you to be in control of your money and carefully decide where to spend and save. It may be a big eye opener on how much you spend on things throughout the month and how much you could potentially be saving.

  1. Prioritize Debt

If you have debt, creating a smart schedule to pay it back will enable you to pay the least amount of interest over time. There are a couple different approaches you can take to repay debt. Make sure to research all repayment methods to determine which would work best for your situation.

In addition to repayment, look into debt consolidation. If your credit is reasonably good, see whether you can transfer the balance from a high-interest-rate card to one with a lower rate. Doing so could buy you some time to pay it off.

  1. Start Investing

The earlier you start investing, the more time your money has to grow and the more potential you’ll have to earn. A great starting point is to invest in a retirement account, such as a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA.

Many employers will match a percentage of what you put into your retirement account. If your employer has a matching program, do everything you can to take advantage of this awesome perk and don’t leave free money on the table.

  1. Save Automatically

Setting up automatic savings is the easiest and most effective way to save – it puts your extra cash out of sight and out of mind. There are several ways to automate. If you sign up for Idaho Central’s Central Cents account, every time you swipe your debit card, that transaction will round up to the next dollar and put the difference into your savings. You can also preauthorize automatic recurring transfers from a checking account to a savings account through eBranch. Transfers are so easy to set up, and you choose the amount and frequency.

  1. Review Your Expenditures

At least once a year, review insurance policies, phone contracts, and any other variable expenses you have to make sure you are getting the best rates possible. Many times you can save money by being a loyal customer or switch to a new provider to take advantage of specials.