Resolute to a financially fit lifestyle in 2012!
1. Save automatically. Aspire can automatically deduct a designated amount from your paycheck for deposit in savings. This is an essential step for those who are unlikely to save on their own. Remember, even small amounts add up! Call 732-388-0477, Option 3 for more information.
2. Save your raise. If you get a raise, deposit part or all of it into a savings account or retirement plan. By sacrificing a small amount of take-home pay, you can achieve long-term growth in savings.
3. Control your credit. Pay off your balance, and then consciously manage credit purchases. Charge only what you can pay for at month’s end. Resist temptation by leaving credit cards at home.
4. Pay as you go. Use cash or your Aspire FCU Visa Debit Card wherever possible.
5. Keep the change. Every day, deposit loose change in a jar or another container. Dedicate the change toward a goal, such as a family outing or holiday gifts, as an incentive to save in advance for special things, rather than relying on credit.
6. Reward progress. Choose small rewards that won’t undermine your new habits, like a night out for ice cream!
7. Get organized. For two weeks, track every penny spent by writing down what you spent in a notebook. Or, if you’re truly committed, buy a software program and enter expenditures every day. Keep careful records of bills, investments and other financial matters. Set up a filing system and use it.
8. Plan for retirement. Join your company’s retirement plan and/or set up automatic deposits to your retirement fund.
9. Clear out clutter. Take time to organize your closet and sort through castoffs in the basement or garage. Looking at “stuff” you own but don’t need will reduce the urge to buy more “stuff.” Donate unused items to charity and record the gift for a tax deduction, or hold a garage sale and donate the proceeds.
10. Cut the cost of fun. An afternoon at a park or a family sledding party offers fun for free. Low-cost options include plays or concerts by community groups; local sporting events; outings offered by clubs or social groups; museum trips; and special events sponsored by libraries.
11. Rely on Aspire. Studies prove that credit unions offer higher returns on savings and charge lower rates and fees on loans.
12. Make bite-sized changes. Changing habits takes time. Pick one or two areas where you need improvement, such as saving a small amount each month or making fewer fast food purchases, and get those under control before moving on to other goals.