Good Banking Habits to Fall Back On

Living in today’s world is financially challenging; everything costs almost double. It is hard to save and budget or even get into a routine with the number of times prices change. One month, your gas or groceries can be $100; the next, it could be $200. There is so much unknown that it is hard to keep track of everything. It could become almost a full-time job just managing your finances. Here are some tips to help you manage your month-to-month spending and banking habits.

Tracking Expenses

The most important habit you should get into is writing down or keeping track of your expenses. It is helpful to stay organized. Creating a monthly checklist or calendar is a great way to keep track of your fixed and flexible expenses. Listing out your rent, car payments, student loans, utilities, cable, etc., will help you stay on target and will allow you to get a better grasp of what money you have left over. It is also beneficial to have alerts or notifications when bills are due. Missing payments can not only hurt your credit score but also throw off your whole month and cause you to fall behind.

Understanding ‘Wants vs. Needs’

Another habit you should get into with your banking is understanding your ‘wants’ and ‘needs.’ Wants can be defined as something you can say “no, not right now” to or “I can get it later.” Needs can be defined as something that you can’t push off for the next month or two. It helps to prioritize the expenses due every month before you treat yourself. Adulting can be challenging, but buying anything you want before paying your bills can make things harder for you every month.

Using Your Financial Institutions Technology

Utilizing your bank or credit union’s technology is a great resource. The technology your financial institution sets up is only for your benefit. Use direct deposit and have your income split into your checking or savings. Using bill pay can help you ensure your bills are being paid on time. You can even set up automatic payments so you don’t forget. Some financial institutions like Alltrust Credit Union allow members to set up account alerts through online and mobile banking. These alerts make it so you can get notified when specific activity occurs, or your balance is running low. If you don’t check your account daily, these alerts will help you stay on top of your finances.

Using Your Savings Account

Open a free savings account if you don’t already have one. Putting money into your savings every week can add up fast. Consider setting up weekly automatic transfers to your savings or split your direct deposit into your checking and savings. Eventually, you won’t even notice it impacting your paycheck. You would get used to it. It is good to have a savings account set up in case of an emergency or last-minute expenses.

Everyone will have different banking habits. There is no right way to do banking as long as it works for you. These tips can help anyone who seems to be struggling or needs an extra push to get themselves organized. Banking doesn’t have to be a chore to do every month. Once you develop certain habits, it becomes second nature.

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