The holidays have come and gone and now you’re here! It’s 2014 and you’re either feeling good about your holiday spending, or you’re in a frantic sweat about what you could do differently the next time around.

Here are some tips, tricks, and reminders for anyone looking to continue their streak of sound spending behavior, or for those who would like to turn things around.

Create or revise your budget.

  • Never made a budget before? Try one this year. Start by thinking of everything you have to pay for on a monthly basis and simply write down the amounts owed.
  • Have a budget but still looking for more? Evaluate how you did on your previous financial goals to see where you could improve. Challenge yourself – increase your payments on debts, or try to increase how much you regularly contribute to your savings account. 
  • Need help? Try a budgeting tool, like Savvy Money. Or, stop into a branch to receive budgeting tools and guidance.

Force yourself to save. Look into ways you can save without even thinking about it! At Affinity Plus, the Stash Your Cash option on your debit card rounds up your purchases to the next dollar and deposits the difference into your savings. Alternatively, setting up automatic transfers makes saving quick
and painless!

Know how much you owe. Consider totaling up all of your debts to get a better picture of where you stand right now. Not only will this help you understand where your money is going, but it may also motivate you to start reducing your debt faster!

Consider your credit. Paying your bills on time and making sure you are keeping low monthly balances on your credit lines will positively affect your credit. In fact, these two factors together make up approximately 65% of your total credit score. Issues in either of these areas? Transferring balances to take advantage of lower interest rates may reduce monthly payments and alleviate your finance costs. Consolidating your balances to one fixed loan can help you get out of debt faster and makes paying your bills easier!

Whatever your goals are for the new year, we are here to help. At Affinity Plus, we work with you to create a personalized plan to help you succeed financially, no matter how you envision it.