Posted by brichards on December 22, 2017
According to a Go Banking Rates survey, 35 percent of adults in the United States have only a few hundred dollars in their savings accounts, and 34 percent say they have no savings at all. It can be hard to set money aside, especially when most Americans live pay check to pay check. Living expenses alone are sometimes difficult to pay. And our instant gratification society has made it common for people to purchase items on impulse rather than saving for them or taking the time to decide if they are even close to necessities. However, we know setting money aside is incredibly important, especially for times when we need money in an emergency. Thrive encourages you to begin saving today. Our Save to Win Savings Program will help you achieve your savings goals this year. With only a $25 deposit, and the ability to earn up to $5,000 in cash prizes, this is the perfect way to be a successful saver in 2018!
In addition to our Save to Win program, here are five of the most common financial fails of 2017 along with ways to turn them around in 2018.
1. Living without a budget
It is extremely difficult to get ahead financially when you don’t know how much money is left from bills or spending. Turn it around by making (and sticking to) a budget this year. This simple tool allows you to see how much income you have left to spend after monthly bills are paid. Once you have this information, you can decide the best ways to spend your remaining cash. Click here for Thrive’s easy to use budgeting template.
2. Not establishing an emergency reserve fund
An emergency reserve fund prevents one from digging deeper into debt during unexpected times. Generally, we recommend a person keep about 3 to 6 months worth of income saved in case a life emergency occurs. Whether the furnace goes out, unexpected medical attention is needed, or the car breaks down, one can pull from this account and avoid adding more debt and stress to the emergency.
3. Purchasing gifts on a credit card
Christmas isn’t on many people’s minds in July. However, putting a little money aside throughout the year means more cheer when the holidays do roll around. No one wants to feel stressed out, which is why one should avoid charging gifts to credit cards. It’s easy to spend, but paying back the interest rates are a major pain. Turn it around by opening a Christmas Club Account. This account is a special club account, which earns dividends on your account balance each month. A Christmas Club Account can be opened anytime throughout the year, and the funds you save get transferred to your Thrive checking or savings account the last week of October for the holiday shopping season.
4. Not prioritizing retirement savings
Retirement seems so far away, but not thinking about retirement can cause you some serious financial woes when it is time to clock out for the last time. If you haven’t started saving for retirement yet, turn it around by:
- Starting early
- Although many people wait until their 35 to even think about retirement, the best age to start planning is around as soon as you start a full time job. Even if your not able to contribute as much as you would like to early in your career, there are many examples out there showing the earlier you start the larger your nest egg will be.
- Increasing contributions annually
- The easiest time to increase your retirement contribution is when you get a raise. Increasing your contribution by 1 percent will increase your retirement fund with little, if any, reduction to your take-home home pay.
- Thinking of your retirement as a loan
- The majority of people have no problem paying a monthly mortgage payment, car payment or credit card payment. However, because people don’t receive an immediate benefit from putting money into their retirement, they put it off. Don’t wait – Start Now!
5. Not seeking help when you need it
There is no shame in admitting that you need help managing your finances! When you have a medical issue, you seek help from a doctor. Similarly, when you have a financial problem, you should seek help from people who have the knowledge and care to help you succeed too. At Thrive, we have 7 certified financial counselors available to answer any of your questions and concerns along with our Strive to Thrive Program, which is a free financial counseling program for members!