In a recent survey, 69% of consumers want to decrease their debt. 18% said they wanted to increase their credit score. 7% want to get rid of their credit cards altogether. And 7% want to increase their savings.
These goals can be achieved over time—if you take a few steps now that can save you money later.
- Contact your credit card companies to see if you are getting the best rate, based on your credit score. If not, ask what it takes to get a better interest rate. You’ll save a bunch of money just by asking for a lower rate.
- If you have health insurance or Medicare, get a medical exam as often as your policy will allow. Catch health issues early and it will save you a ton money that you’d have to pay out of your own pocket—let alone time off from work.
- Increase your retirement contributions. If your employer provides matching funds, try to contribute at least the dollar amount of matching funds. As little as a $50 per month contribution amounts to big dollars when you retire.
- If your 401K gives you the option of investing in certain stock and bond funds, spend the time to do the research and make sure your funds are invested in those that are making money. Check back at least every 3 months to make sure the fund is still on track.
- Set up individual savings accounts earmarked for the big-ticket purchases you wish to make. You could have a “car fund”, a “Big screen TV fund”, a “vacation fund”. Even if you need to buy a car before you’ve fully funded it, at least you’ll have a down payment which will save you interest because you’ll have a lower loan amount.
If you found these tips helpful, check out our article on living below your means