Now that the holidays are over, you’re probably thinking about how you can reduce your debt and pay off any outstanding bills you might have. According to MarketWatch, the average family took on just over $1,000 in holiday debt last year. If you find yourself pinching pennies, here are a few ways to get yourself in better financial shape this year.
1) Look at Your Recurring Charges
Have you noticed a monthly charge on your credit card for something you don’t use any more? Take a look at your last statement and highlight any monthly payments you’re making for a service you don’t use, and cancel that service. For example, if you’re paying $29.99/month for something, you could save $360 a year by cancelling. Don’t delay!
2) Set Up Autopay on Your Credit Card
If you’re guilty of not making credit card payments on time, consider setting up autopay. This will help you avoid a lower credit score and extra charges due to missed payments. Ensure that your checking account has a sufficient balance to pay your monthly bill.
3) Use Financial Tracking Tools
If you’re having trouble setting up a budget, consider what you need to do to pay off your finances. You can use a service like Mint to automatically divide your previous spending into categories, or download a spreadsheet template to create your own budget sheet. Keeping track of your personal finances has never been easier!
4) Start Your Emergency Fund
Try to save at least two to six months’ worth of your current salary. Start by having savings for unexpected expenses such as car or home repairs. Eventually, your goal will be to have enough savings to help you in case you lose your job.