Holiday shoppers have been careful each holiday season to make their lists and check them twice. Budgets have become more discerning, and savers have become better planners for their holiday spending, prioritizing savings along the way.
According to a 2017 survey of shoppers conducted by Internet consulting firm Invesp, 35.5% were planning their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving rolled around.
Successful financial habits aren't just about planning, though. With the New Year comes multiple opportunities to make improvements to your financial health. Don’t make just another resolution that disappears by Valentine’s Day. Take your financial wellness to a whole new level: a New Year, a new financial you.
These five steps will help you to establish your best financial path for 2019, and you can have all the heavy lifting done before the clock strikes twelve:
- Take stock of your finances. Take account of all your income, expenses, and existing savings/investment accounts. And no matter how nice you were, don’t forget to include any naughty debts you may have incurred in the spirit of the season.
- Sketch out a budget “template” for the year to come. Think big picture. Plan your holiday spending for 2018 with this Holiday Spending eGuide from Hanscom Federal Credit Union. Decide the method for budgeting that you’re going to use in 2019, and rough out what you’d like it to look like from month to month. Be pragmatic about your needs and be honest about where your money is going. Plan to make adjustments and really dig into your spending habits when you check back in on a regular basis.
- Check your credit report. It is your legal right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Members of Hanscom FCU can access credit scores and reports at no charge. Visit hfcu.org/score to schedule a review.
- Set up bank and credit alerts, and financial reminders. Whether you’re at your computer or on your mobile device, you are in an ideal position to receive notifications about upcoming payments, suspicious activities on an account, transactions over a certain dollar amount, low balances, and more.
- Make a commitment to yourself to save. Those who make a commitment to themselves and their family to save usually save more than those who don’t. Think of this as your New Year’s Resolution. Make your commitment today by taking the America Saves Pledge and follow the prompts to sign up for text message tips and reminders. If you find it tough to save on your own, automate it by opening a CU Thrive account with Hanscom FCU. You can have as little as $5 or as much as $500 automatically deposited from your checking account into your CU Thrive account each month. With a 5.00% APY1, you'll have a cushion of savings after a year.
A new financial you is an achievable goal for 2019. Join those savers who have successfully opted to reduce holiday spending and prioritize savings throughout the season. To learn more about spending and saving during the holidays and take the America Saves pledge, visit them here.
1APY = Annual Percentage Yield. No minimum balance requirements apply to this account. Rates for a CU Thrive Account are fixed for the full term (12 months) with a maximum contribution amount of $500 per month. You may schedule transfers up to $500.00 (minimum $5.00 ) each month from a Hanscom FCU checking account. This account will not automatically renew at maturity. There can only be one CU Thrive account open per membership. Please refer to the Disclosure for Personal Accounts for more information. Early withdrawal penalties may apply to certificates. Fees may reduce earnings and the principal amount may be reduced to cover the penalty. To get started click here, stop by any office or call our Member Services Department at 800-656-4328.↵