By: Diana Bunnow, SBCP Customer Support Center Representative
Managing your finances can sometimes feel like a full-time job. However, organization of your finances can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend worrying about them and will help contribute to your long-term financial success. Here are some tips and tricks to get you organized and help you be financially fit in 2019.
- Create a budget for the year: Creating and sticking to a budget is key to your financial success. We recommend utilizing our home budget calculator to determine where your money is going. From there you can estimate your financial needs for the upcoming year. Strive to review your budget at least once per month to ensure you are on track and to adjust as needed.
- Establish a savings goal: Whether you are saving for retirement, a vacation, or just a rainy day, having a goal is important. Utilize an online savings tool or our savings calculator to help you get started.
- Use Online or Mobile banking: The convenience of online banking is unparalleled. Check your balance, review your transactions, transfer money and even deposit a check. With online and mobile banking, you can do almost all your banking from your home or on the go. Don’t hesitate to stop into any branch, and we can show you how to utilize all these features.
- Schedule a check-up with your financial advisor: While everyone’s needs are different, we recommend having a review of your finances and retirement savings at least once per year. If you are in need of a financial advisor, feel free to give us a call at 608-798-2400, and we can connect you with someone from our wealth management team.
- Automate your recurring payments: Having your payments come out automatically is very convenient and can cut down on the amount of time you spend paying your bills. Our electronic bill pay system can send a payment to any company you need to pay. While automation is convenient, keep in mind you can also use Bill Pay for one-time payments, as well.
- Review your Credit Score: You can view your credit score through our online banking and our mobile app by using the Credit Sense This is a free service that we provide to our clients so you can stay informed about your credit score. In addition, you can sign up for alerts if there are major changes to your credit information and view loan options that may help you with debt consolidation.
- Work to pay down your debts: After reviewing your overall finances, you should work to pay off debt with the highest interest rate first. Make sure to be paying more than the minimum balance on the card or loan you are focusing on, if possible. When that balance reaches zero, do the same with the next most expensive debt, and so on.
- Purge or shred old financial documents: Most of us feel better when we have all our documents saved, but the paperwork can get overwhelming. View this timeline of what can be discarded and when.
Be realistic when creating your budget and organizing your finances. Finding a system that’s right for you may take a bit of time. Try not to get discouraged if it isn’t perfect the very first month; you’ll get another chance next month. And be sure to communicate your plan to your partner so you are both on the same page. This way you can celebrate your success when it all comes together.