It’s no secret that everyone gets more green in their lives on St. Patrick’s Day. People wear green clothes, drink green beer and decorate with green shamrocks. There is one place, however, that doesn’t see more green on St. Patrick’s Day—your bank account.
Save More Money
The first step to getting more green in your life is to keep more of the green you make, and that means saving more money each month.
If you’re not in the habit of saving, now is the time to start. You can begin by putting aside at least 5-10% of each paycheck. One of the best ways to do this is by having part of your paycheck put into your savings account via direct deposit.
Once you’ve been saving for a while, though, try to increase the amount of money you save each month. Many financial experts recommend you save 20% of each paycheck, so set that as a goal and slowly increase how much of your paycheck you save until you hit that goal.
Cut Unnecessary Expenses
You can also get more green in your account by not spending it on unnecessary expenses. If you already have a budget, take a look at it and see if you can save money in each category. By this point, everyone’s probably aware that they can save money if they don’t buy their morning coffee or eschew eating out instead of cooking their own meals, but you can also:
- Lower your bills by negotiating with your wireless provider, cable company and ISP
- Sell unwanted items on eBay, Craigslist and Facebook marketplace
- Cancel any subscriptions you’re not actively using
- Plan your meals each week instead of constantly visiting the grocery store
Pay Down Your Debts
Nothing drains the green from your accounts like debts. This St. Patrick’s Day make paying down your debts a priority. If you have any extra money in the budget, put it towards paying off your debt.
If you have multiple debts, start by paying off the debt with the highest interest. Once you’ve paid it off, take the money you were using to pay off that debt and apply it to your debt with the next highest interest until you’re debt free. You might also want to look into consolidating your debts, which will reduce the number of payments you have to make each month and potentially save you a lot of money by lowering your interest rate.
Create or Review Your Budget
One thing that all of the previous tips have in common is that a budget makes all of them easier. When you have a budget, you can see where all your money is going each month, and that not only lets you control what you spend on which item, but also lets you prioritize your spending, help you plan out your financial goals and lets you stop worrying about your finances.
Putting a budget together does take a little time, but the results easily outweigh the time and effort you’ll spend on it.
If you already have a budget, though, take a look at it. See if you’ve overspent in any categories, and if you have you’ll want to figure out whether or not it was due to a one-time expense, or whether you’ll need to increase how much you spend in that category. You may also want to decrease the amount you spend in a budget category if you’re constantly spending less than the amount you allotted.
Get More Green in Your Life With First Alliance Credit Union
St. Patrick’s Day is always a good time to get more green in your life. While these tips will help, they’re not limited to St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, you might just want to return to these tips periodically and see if they can help you.
You can also get more green in your life when you become a member of First Alliance Credit Union today. While we don’t have green beer, we do offer WINcentive Savings accounts, where you can build up your savings for a chance to win cash prizes! You can also talk with one of our member advisors to see if a debt consolidation loan could help you.
Want to find out more ways to get more green in your life? Listen to Episode 53 of our Good Money Moves podcast, which talks about how to stop feeling broke all the time.