Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yes - You CAN Save Money In 2017!

Almost everyone makes lofty plans to save money at the start of a New Year, but few people find that they are successful in their goals. Breaking old spending habits is challenging, but with a little bit of focused attention and effort on your part, it is possible. Our Lake of the Ozarks community bank is here to help you meet your goal of saving money in 2017. These quick tips can steer you in the right direction.

Make Plans (And Stick To Them).
In order to keep your spending in check, you need a plan. Without a weekly meal plan, for example, you may end up spending extra money on multiple dinners out or groceries (such as fresh produce) that expire before they are used. At the start of every week, set aside time to make a plan for some of your various expenses for the coming week, such as how many times you will treat yourself to coffee on your way to work or how many times you'll go out to lunch with your coworkers instead of bringing food from home. Making a plan and sticking with it will help you avoid spur-of-the-moment decisions, which typically result in greater spending.

Make Saving Automatic.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to eliminate the decision to save every month. If you haven’t already done so, connect your checking account to a savings account at your Lake of the Ozarks bank or to your retirement account. In most cases, you’ll be able to set up an automatic withdrawal from your bank account to coincide with your payroll deposits. That way, the money is moved out of your checking account and into the appropriate savings account before you ever see it, thus eliminating the temptation to spend it unnecessarily.

Don't Have Money To Save? Review Your Bills.
Just as saving is easier when it’s automatic, spending is also easier when it happens without effort. Many Americans put their monthly expenses on auto-pay via a bank account, credit card or debit card. This saves the monthly hassle of paying bills, but it might also put your relationships with service providers in the “out of sight, out of mind” category. While your monthly payments have been made automatically for phone, cable and other service providers, the initial promotional rates you might have once enjoyed on those accounts have possibly expired.

Take the time to review your expenses in each of these categories, and consider calling your service providers to ask for a better deal. Most service providers don't want to lose you as a customer and may offer you the “new customer” discounts or something similar to get you to stay. Once you successfully reset these relationships, you can add the total amount saved to your automated savings deposits each month. 

Still Don't Have Money To Save? Take Control Of Your Expenses.
If you still find that you're running out of money every month without setting anything aside, it may be time to drastically shake up your system so that you can take control of your expenses. Often, impulse purchases are the biggest hurdle that must be overcome in order to get spending in check. Consider the cash envelope system: 
  • Determine how much money you can afford to spend in certain categories every month.
  • Write the names of the categories on different envelopes.
  • Withdraw cash from your bank account and put the appropriate of cash for each category in its corresponding envelope.
  • Make all your purchases with the cash in the envelopes.
  • Once you run out of money in a certain envelope, stop spending money in that category.

Doing this on a monthly basis can be a valuable way to help you get control of your spending. If you are concerned about carrying cash with you everywhere you go, consider downloading a mobile app (such as Goodbudget) that allows you to track your expenses in a similar way while still using your debit card.

First Bank Of The Lake Is Here To Help!
Saving doesn’t necessarily require a drastic change in your lifestyle. Taking small but doable steps towards a goal is often the best way to achieve success in the long term. If you are looking for a safe place to save money - and get access to several great perks that can put you ahead in the long run - consider opening a bank account at First Bank of the Lake. Ask for Kasasa!

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway
Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

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