5 Ways to Finesse Your Finances for the New Year
Stepping into a brand-new year can feel like an opportunity for major change—a clean slate. But while some may commit to a new fitness regimen and others might take up a new hobby or skill, one universally positive endeavor to give a go is improving your finances. So what’s a person to do when it comes to starting off the new year on the right financial foot?
Here are five of the ways you can take advantage of a new set of 12 months to work some money magic.
Amp Up Your Protection
One way to improve your financial health and potentially avoid headaches down the road is to set up fraud protection or added security measures on your finances. (One way Levo helps this effort is through our Visa Zero Liability Fraud Protection on Levo Visa Credit Cards, for example.) Identity theft can be devastating and, without the right levels of protection in place, can take months or even years to clear up in full. So consider signing up for a credit monitoring or fraud protection service in the new year!
Take Budgeting Seriously
We’ve all been there—we say, “I’m going to get my spending reigned in.” But then that shiny new smartphone or vacation starts calling our name and… well, there’s no resisting it! But if you start off the year with at least a macro-level budget in order for your household, you might be able to knock out some looming debts or home projects before the splurge (or an unexpected expenditure) sets in. A great start is setting up an automatic deposit to an interest-bearing savings account on a monthly basis—Levo happens to have those.
Eliminate High-Interest Debts
A stupendous way to remove a little bit of stress from your financial life is making a list of your outstanding small-dollar debts, whether they be standard credit cards, store balances with retailers, student loans, etc. Identify the interest rates and balances of each and rank them by which incurs the most interest month to month. Start identifying availability in your monthly earnings to pay those debts down sooner by overpaying the minimums. (Or, take it one step further—transfer your balances and consolidate them on a Levo Visa Credit Card, and you might be able to take advantage for 0% interest for as many as 12 months, for a limited time!)
Take Stock of Retirement
Have a 401(k) or IRA set up for retirement? Perhaps you set it up when your earnings were lower than they are now? It might be a good time to take a second look at what you’re contributing. (Or, if you have yet to set one or both up, consider getting those rolling sooner than later!) Particularly with employer-contributed 401(k) accounts, if increased earnings or raises have made you more able to invest more deeply in your retirement, consider increasing your monthly deposit by a few percentage points. (And in the meantime, check out some of the retirement offerings Levo Credit Union provides.)
Prioritize Your Luxuries
Expensive vices—we all have them. What’s yours? Maybe you have a favorite dinner spot you love to hit up a little too often? Or perhaps your penchant for coffee sees you hitting the drive-thru for a latte more days than not? Whatever your luxury spending priorities, use the new year to set some limits on yourself. Allot yourself a certain number of days a month to eat out, grab fancy coffee, shop online, hit up a sporting event or whatever else strains your budget. Hold yourself to it, and you’ll not only improve your finances, but also grow a little more appreciation for the activities you love that cost money.
Ready to talk through your options for managing money in the new year? Our team is ready to walk you through the options available to you at Levo Credit Union.