Where will you be celebrating New Year’s eve in Keokuk? A fun night out at Shooters Lounge or a relaxing weekend at the River’s Edge Bed and Breakfast? Maybe you plan on a night in with family and friends to watch the ball drop. Whatever your plans are, we wish you a cheerful one!
Other than “what are your plans,” another question always seems to come up at the end of the year, “do you have a New Year’s resolution?”
Whether or not the answer is yes or no, why not make 2016 the year to focus on setting goals and saving money? The two really go hand in hand. Of course, other great resolutions include joining Anytime Fitness and pledging to shop local, but why not pledge to make small financial changes that will improve your lifestyle in a big way?
We talked about getting out of debt in our last blog, but we wanted to re-emphasize six tips for smart goal setting and financial planning in the New Year:
1. Record what you spend
The most important step in saving money is understanding what you’re spending your money on. For the month of January, keep a record of everything you spend, including coffee, snacks and random knick-knacks. After one month, organize everything into categories–groceries, gas, clothing–and see where you spent most of your money. Find a cool notebook at McFarland Swan Office Supply Company to record all your purchases in!
2. Create a budget
Now that you have an understanding of where you spend your money, build a budget for February. Factor in regular expenses, planned events, savings and emergency funds. The general rule for saving is to try to take at least 10-15 percent from your paycheck and put it into a savings account. If your expenses don’t allow for you to save that much, cut back and look for areas in your spending to save money, like only eating out at Angelini’s Pizza once a week (even though it is so good).
3. Make savings goals
Creating goals makes it easier to know where to start. Think about short-term goals, like saving money for a vacation, or buying a new car. Also keep in mind long-term savings goals, like saving for retirement or putting money away for your child’s college education. Don’t have a savings account set up? Set up an appointment with a few different banks to see which is right for you. Check these Keokuk banks out: First Community Bank, State Central Bank or Pilot Grove Savings Banks.
4. Bundle your insurance policies
Insurance companies often offer discounts to attract customers needing more than one type of insurance. For example, it may end up being cheaper to insure both your house and your car with one company, rather than insuring your house through a one company and your car through another company.
Bundling insurance isn’t always the first thought that comes to mind when setting financial goals, but the bottom line is bundling your policies can save you money compared to having a variety of carriers at once. Also, another plus, when one insurance company is handling all your insurance policies, that’s less time for you to spend sorting through and paying each policy. Afterall, time is money!
5. Set up automatic transfers
Check in with your bank and set up automatic monthly transfers to your savings account. If the money isn’t in your checking account, it is harder to spend!
Start the New Year off right!
By making just a few smart financial decisions, you can make a big different in your spending and saving habits. Having a better handle on your money can help you achieve other life goals – like traveling, affording college or finally enjoying a weekend stay with your significant other at the beautiful Grand Anne Bed & Breakfast.
Give us a call (844-272-3420) and we can help look over your insurance policies to look for any savings opportunities. It never hurts to ask!
What other goals are you setting for 2016?