Spring cleaning for your finances
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Spring is the perfect time of year to spruce up your finances. Taking a good look at your finances now will set you up better to afford the things you want to do after the nice weather arrives. You might even develop some healthier money habits! Here are some tips to get you started.
Automate Your Savings
It requires discipline to put aside a chunk of money each month, but that’s where automation can help. Start by having a small amount from each paycheck automatically deposited directly into a savings account. You can do this through your employer or set up a recurring automated transfer through your credit union. Some people call this paying yourself first. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll have saved over time.
Transfer Your Credit Card Balance
The best way to eliminate interest on a balance is to transfer your balance to a credit card with an introductory 0% interest rate. (Signal’s credit cards all offer a promotional 0% APR* for 6 months.) Without the interest, you can pay down your balance quicker. Look for a card with a lengthy introductory period that gives you more time to adjust your budget and work towards ridding yourself of credit card debt. Just make sure to pay off the transferred balance before the rate on the card goes back up!
Lower Your Bills
Many people think they’re stuck paying whatever their cable or phone provider charges. It’s not guaranteed to work, but you may be able to negotiate a lower rate or find a better plan that fits within your budget. It may even mean switching service providers. You can work down some of your other bills the same way: look for better deals on electricity and insurance, for instance, or call your credit card company to see if they’ll lower your interest rate. Creating a budget for grocery shopping, sticking to a list, and bargain shopping can make a huge difference in how much you spend on food.
Set New Goals
Set some new goals for your personal finances this spring, even if it’s as simple as paying down one credit card or saving for a weekend getaway. When you’re working towards a goal, it helps you to avoid impulse purchases and unnecessary spending. Choose an achievable goal, write it down, and get an accountability partner to push you to stay on track.
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. 0% APR on all purchases for the first 6 months after card opening. Rate for any remaining purchases balance will revert to the standard variable rate, 9.25%–18% depending on creditworthiness and credit card type, after the first 6 months. 0% APR on all balance transfers for the first 6 months after the transfer; the standard variable rate will apply to any remaining transferred balance after 6 months. Rates and fees are subject to change at any time without notice.