With a new year come resolutions, which too often are empty promises that fall by the wayside before we even get to February! Did you know that of the resolutions made by Americans each year, only an estimated 8 percent succeed?! Put an end to the empty promises, especially if you’ve made financial resolutions.
If you have set a goal that involves safer spending and successful saving in 2015, decidedly popular themes for New Year’s resolutions, here are eight tips to keep you on task. We asked the experts at Landmark Community Bank to summarize what the no-excuses plan of action should be for anyone who truly wants to establish better habits. Here’s what they had to say:
- Be vigilant with your money. Review your monthly statements; account for all deductions and deposits. If you ever wonder where all of the money goes, it is probably because you don’t keep a regular record. This also helps identify cyber fraud and identity theft, which are becoming more and more prevalent in the digital age.
- Never say no to a receipt, especially ATM withdrawals. You get busy with life and forget to write withdrawals down. Next thing you know, you’re overdrawn, and the $50 withdrawal costs you $25 to $35 more! This may be viewed as an environmentally poor tip, but look at it this way: the receipt uses less paper than the NSF notice and envelope.
- Be sure to do your research when deciding on a bank that’s right for you. Not all banks offer products specific to your needs. Do your homework, and find the perfect fit.
- Don’t substitute technology for a live banker. No matter what size financial institution you deal with, you should have a good enough relationship with a bank employee that they recognize you, and you feel comfortable speaking with them about your finances.
- Take advantage of technology, but don’t assume it is without risk. While your bank may have security measures in place, vendors or the paths transactions travel may be less secure.
- Establish savings. When starting with a new bank or opening an account for the first time, consider establishing a savings account as well. In case of emergencies, a savings account will provide that safety net when the need arises. A good base amount to shoot for is $1,000.
- Know the terms and conditions. Of the specific accounts you’re opening, be familiar with the terms and conditions, which includes the number of checks that can be written, fees associated with online banking or stopping payment on a check.
- Take necessary protective measures. When safeguarding your accounts from fraud and theft, be sure to follow tips such as shredding old account statements, having complex passwords and using online banking on protected Internet sites and connections.
Thank you to Landmark Community Bank experts Bryan Jones, senior vice president, and Windee James, portfolio manager, for pointing us in the right direction with straightforward, sound financial advice for 2015. Here’s to beating the odds and keeping our resolutions for a happier and healthier new year!
Did you know that StyleBlueprint is keeping its resolution to build a mobile app for the SB Memphis Guide? Find our city’s best local businesses in the SB Memphis Guide, and soon, the SB Guide app will be available for download!