Financial challenges have been at the forefront of many households across the country, especially with the rise of COVID-19. One thing we know is that bills keep coming even if the next paycheck is being delayed, so knowing what steps you can take will help reduce your stress around finances. Check out Marine’s guide to Navigate Financial Uncertainty.
Once you have a solid foundation and you are not feeling so uncertain about your finances, automation allows you to systematically fulfill long-term goals. Having a plan helps to take a lot of stress out of finances, while still allowing you the freedom you desire.
Open the Right Accounts: Certain accounts compliment an automated budget more than others. When searching for checking and savings accounts that fit your needs, try to avoid minimum balances. You can also use savings accounts or credit cards as overdraft protection to kick in automatically.
Use Mobile Options That Sync to Your Smart Device: Online and mobile tools are free and make financial life easier. You can find a list of recommended financial apps here. Enter your take home pay, bills, monthly expenses, etc. Just like that, you have a budget in your pocket! Don’t be shy about trying a cloud drive and uploading your personal spreadsheet if that works better for you.
Automate Your Savings: It’s easy to save money when you don’t notice it’s gone. Save a portion of each paycheck by automatically contributing a percentage to your savings and retirement accounts. This can be done completely through your employer, taking all the hassle from you. Over time, your funds will grow and be kept in a safe place for future needs. Marine’s Get Credit program helps you save money each month, plus it can improve your credit score at the same time. Check it out!
Let Your Bills Pay Themselves: Once you have a solid structure to your budget, automatic payments are one of the most convenient features available. Your creditor may take payments on a specific date or through an automatic bill pay service. Either way, it’s easy and automatic. You don’t have to keep track and can be assured the bill will always pay on time.
Analyze Your Spending Habits: What gets measured, gets managed and what gets managed, gets improved. It is sometimes hard to track what we spend in our fast-paced society, but it is the only way you are going to discover where your money is going outside of fixed bills and debts. Use your mobile options to review purchases. Taking a few minutes every day to examine your bank account will open your eyes to your habits and places for improvement.
Ultimately, you are the only one who has the power to take control of your finances and there are tools to help you do it. With a solid financial foundation and the technology available, you’ll be on your way to an easier financial future.