The holiday shopping season drains the bank accounts enough, so we should be looking to save every dollar possible. Sometimes removing unnecessary spending is not enough and we need a little adjusting in other areas to maximize savings. This December would be a great time to make a few tweaks to set up 2017 for financial success.
Set Up Direct Deposit for Savings Accounts
Having the available funds in your checking account will often prevent any from moving over to savings accounts because it is there for spending. Instead, set an automatic deposit from your paycheck that will automatically going into savings so you avoid any temptation to either not move over as much as you should, or spend it all. By starting with a little a fist, you will not even miss it, and then can gradually increase each paycheck so that you will see a continuous rise in the savings account balance.
Spend with Cash Instead of Credit
Not that using cash instead of credit will stop spending altogether, but it may give second thought to any unnecessary spending if you are only using your own set allowance. Seeing the cash leave your hand and go into the cash register should at least make you think about if each purchase is worth it. Credit cards can often feel like play money, not having to worry about paying until the next month’s account statement arrives.
Start Setting Donations Aside
With 2016 coming to a close it is time to start thinking about the upcoming tax season and now would be a great time to get your donations in order to write off when you begin to file. A good place to start would be cleaning out the closet, putting clothes in piles of not only washing, but what can be donated versus time to throw away. Next scouting out each room for any larger items such as furniture, TV’s, or the CD’s, DVD’s, and books that are probably now collecting dust in the digital age.
Keep Cold Air Out
The winter weather is upon us and before months go by wasting away extra money on our gas bill, it is a good time to check out doors, windows, and outlets that share an outside wall for drafts. Running a new line of caulk or foam insulation will immediately keep the warm air inside. Any way we can help from the heat kicking on as often will only save you money not only in December, but the entire cold season.
Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards
With the holiday season in full force, since we are spending a ton of money anyways, we might as well get a little back in return. Check your credit card rewards program to see that are you taking full advantage, getting points for purchases that you can redeem in gift cards, or a lump sum cashback check. Just keep an eye on that spending balance to make sure it still fits your budget now that you are putting on credit instead of using cash/debit.