A Financially Improved You!

holiday spending

The New Year is the perfect time to make resolutions to help you achieve your financial goals. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider in 2020:

Refine your budget.

Developing a budget (or refining your existing one) is a great way to stay on track with your spending and savings goals. It incorporates the money you earn, your savings goals, and your expenses, such as rent or mortgage, insurance, utilities, entertainment, and other costs. See if there are any areas where you can reduce your costs, and then you can apply that money toward your savings goals or reducing any debt you may have.

To get started, use our online budgeting calculators.

Grow your savings.

Whether you want to save for college, retirement, or a new car, your savings goals should be specific, measurable, and time-bound. For example, your goal may be to save $700 for a summer vacation (specific) by depositing $100 a month into a Bethpage Savings Account (measurable) from January through July (time-bound).

In addition to saving for specific goals and periodic expenses, you might want to consider establishing a general emergency fund that can be used to cover unforeseen expenses that can arise anytime.

Reduce your debt.

Many people carry a balance on their credit card(s). A great way to reduce the interest owed on these charges is to refinance your debt at a lower rate with a credit card balance transfer or a personal loan.

With a credit card balance transfer, you can move charges from a high-interest rate credit card to a new or existing credit card with a lower interest rate. Some credit cards offer a low introductory (or promotional) interest rate on transferred balances for a certain period of time.

With a debt consolidation personal loan, you can use the loan to pay off your high-interest credit card(s). Personal loans have a defined length of time for repayment (e.g., 5 years) — you will know exactly how many consecutive monthly payments you have to make to pay the loan in full.

These debt refinancing methods will help you pay off your debt faster, because more of your payment will apply to the principal balance rather than interest charges.

Bethpage offers great rates on credit card balance transfers and personal loans.

Monitor your credit.

Your credit score, as well as the information in your credit report, can affect everything from loan approvals to employment opportunities. It’s to your advantage to carefully review the contents of your credit report (for errors, suspicious activity, etc.) at least once a year. It’s also a good idea to review your accounts and monthly statements for any irregular activity.

Enhance your knowledge.

There’s always something new to learn about your finances and financial goals. At Bethpage, we have a financial education program, My Money 101, which features free interactive online tutorials to help you learn banking basics, tips on saving and budgeting, and more. We also offer free financial education seminars and webinars to help you set yourself up for financial success.