7 Financial Hacks for a Prosperous 2020
It’s less than 30 days until the new year, are you unsure of the steps to take to meet your financial goals come January? If only a financial fresh start were as easy as turning the page of a calendar. While your money situation is unlikely to improve overnight, you can take action now to experience positive changes in the coming months.
As you prepare to say “farewell” to 2019, say “hello” to these financial hacks to enjoy a prosperous 2020.
1. Use a Mobile App
A solid financial foundation begins with a realistic budget. Unless you know how much money you have available to meet your financial goals, you’ll miss more savings targets than you’ll hit. Mobile apps, such as the Hughes Mobile Banking App, make it easier to track your income and expenses. Deposit checks, pay bills, check your balance, transfer funds, and more when you use the app to access your account day or night.
2. Sign up for Alerts
There are better ways to discover that you're running low on funds besides a declined debit card or an overdraft fee. Sign up for email or text transaction alerts with your financial institution. Hughes members can receive account activity alerts when they enroll via the Online Banking Portal.
3. Trim Expenses
The decision about which expenses to reduce or eliminate shouldn’t take months to mull over. Each month you delay this important money-saving task, the less you’ll have available to place in an interest-bearing savings account. Contact your service providers to learn about special promotions or options to switch to plans that better reflect your actual usage. For example, mobile phone providers can analyze your usage and help determine if you’re better off with a limited versus unlimited data plan. Set aside an hour this week to make a few phone calls that could save you $100s in the coming year.
4. Auto-Pay Yourself $1,000
Hughes Online Banking with Auto Bill Pay can help you avoid late fees by ensuring on-time payment to creditors*. If you believe your savings goal is just as crucial as your other bills, then treat it as a budget expense that pays dividends.
Make savings easy by setting an auto-transfer that consistently moves money from your checking account to your savings account until you reach $1,000. For example, set up a $100 auto-transfer for the 15th of each month. In 10 months, you’ll have saved $1,000 plus interest. This financial cushion can shield your budget from unexpected expenses like car or home repairs that can derail your new financial priorities.
5. Check Your Credit at Least Annually
Your credit history can influence interest rates on credit cards and loans, the costs for everyday services, and even whether you can rent the apartment of your dreams. Paying your creditors on time and keeping credit account balances low are things you can do to improve your credit score. But even if you manage credit wisely, you can still have a poor credit score if your credit history report contains incorrect information.
Request your credit history reports by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Review each report for errors. Follow the dispute policy of each credit reporting bureau to clear up reporting discrepancies, and you could benefit from a better credit score.
6. Pay More Than the Minimum
Stick to making only the minimum monthly payment on a credit card, and it can take years to pay off. Plus, it can cost you $100s in interest charges. Instead, commit to doubling the monthly payment to wipe out the debt quickly. Work overtime or secure a part-time job and apply those extra earnings to the debt. Eliminating debt one bill at a time is a small move that can have a significant impact on your budget.
7. Revisit Your Student Loan Repayment
You might be eligible for the federal student loan forgiveness program and not even know it. Or, if your employer or financial situation has changed, you might be able to modify your student loan repayment plan. Eliminating or reducing your loan payment could give your finances a needed boost. Contact your student loan servicer for eligibility details.
Your financial future can quickly change for the better with one or more of these money hacks. Monitor your progress to stay motivated and to create the financial life of your dreams.
*Account must contain sufficient funds