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5 Resolutions to Help You to Become Financially Fit in the New Year

5 Resolutions to Help You to Become Financially Fit in the New Year

With the new year approaching, now is the perfect time to make a resolution to save more money.  Here are our five tips will help you trim spending, beef up savings, and reduce stress.

1. Pay it off. 
Pay off your credit cards to save money. Let's say you have a $2,000 balance at 18% interest. If your minimum payment is 2% of the balance due each month, it will take you 19 years to pay it off and you'll incur $3,862 in interest. But if you increase your monthly payments to 8% of the balance due--much more than the minimum--you'll be able to pay it off in just three years and nine months, and your interest will be reduced to $433. You will have "saved" $3,429. 

2. Conserve.
Small changes can mean big savings on your utility bill. Doing small things like using a programmable thermostat that lowers the temperature while you are away can lower your energy bill by as much as 10%. And consider tackling some DIY home improvement projects like insulating your ducts and adding weather stripping to places where drafts normally occur.  Learn more home conservation tips here.  If you need a little extra financial help tackling those home improvements, consider a Home Equity Line of Credit.  They offer the ability to draw the funds you need, when you need them and they offer a lower interest rate than many other loans.

3. So what's a buck?
Grab a calculator. Add up what you spend on so-called "little things" that end up being budget-busters: 
* If you spend $1.00 a day on soda, that adds up to $365 a year.
* If you spend $2.75 a day on coffee, that's $1,003.75 a year.
* If you spend $6 every weekday on fast food, that's $1,560 a year.
* If you spend $6.20 a day on cigarettes, that's $2,263 a year.

It's always good to give yourself a little treat, but many of these daily indulgences make a huge impact on your health, which can lead to even more expenses in the future. Try to limit your little indulgences like fancy coffees to special occasions.

4. Tune it up.
Regular automobile maintenance--including low-cost oil changes, filter changes, and tire rotation--can save big bucks by preventing costly repairs. Keep your engine tuned and your tires inflated to their proper pressure. On the road, stay within speed limits--gas mileage decreases when you drive faster than 60 MPH. Avoid "jackrabbit" starts, unnecessary idling, remove excess weight from the trunk, and combine errands. Also, prepare yourself for the colder months (February in Colorado – brrrrrrr!) when car accidents are more likely to occur. Follow these simple maintenance tips so you don’t end up stranded on the side of the road, or worse, in a ditch. Check out these tips from AutoTrek to get your car ready for cold weather.

5. Transfer it.
Pay yourself first--set up automatic transfers to your share or money market accounts. Have your paycheck automatically deposited to your credit union account. Consider using direct bill payment from your share draft account for recurring payments like household bills, insurance premiums, automatic investment and savings plans, mortgage payments, auto loan payments, and charitable donations. Fitzsimons Credit Union offers a range of products and services that can aid you in this process.




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