The world of finances can feel overwhelming and sometimes even mysterious. Beyond the basics of savings and retirement funds, simple banking habits can have a surprising impact on your finances. These tricks can help you optimize your finances and get the most out of your banking by taking advantage of electronic banking tools, credit score hacks and more.
Shop Around for Your Bank
Some banks offer special perks for their members and each one will differ. Shop around to find the best deal for your needs, keeping in mind your long-term goals. Some banks offer special perks to their patrons when financing loans for a home, cars and other items.
Split Your Paycheck
Feel like you can’t trust yourself to not tap into those new funds every paycheck but you want to start saving? Ask your HR director if you can split your direct deposits or check with your bank to see if you can automatically transfer funds into savings on a monthly basis. Keep your excess funds sent directly to savings and they’re out of sight, out of mind.
Consider Another Bank
A general savings account is imperative, but if you have a special reason to save, it can be helpful to open an entirely new account. A big-ticket expense like a wedding, a new car or a first-home purchase can all be easier to track if the savings is separated from general emergency funds. This also helps remove the need or temptation to dip into that account for emergency issues.
Get a Credit Card Only for Regular Expenses
Credit cards can be tricky for some, but using a credit card regularly and wisely can have a big impact on your credit score. Open a card that is used exclusively for consistent purchases for which you always have the funds on-hand. For example, instead of grocery shopping with cash, set a specific budget and use your credit card. Right after you are home and the groceries are put away, pay off that expense. If you currently have little or poor credit, check with your bank or financial institution, as they are often more likely to approve a current patron in good standing.
Change to Paperless Banking
If you haven’t made the leap, it’s time to go paperless. Not only will you avoid paper clutter and the need to shred or store sensitive information, but your bank will likely offer a small savings or perk for those who opt to bank electronically. Between the opportunity for convenience and savings, there’s no reason to avoid making the switch.