Welcome to February, where cold winter weather makes it the perfect time to stay indoors. I don’t know about you, but I’m going stir crazy. Thoughts have been swirling around in my mind about all of the things I want to accomplish around the house as well as the projects that I could/should already be doing. Or even worse, the urge for online shopping sets in and I begin to question whether I want to stay on budget or splurge on something that I really don’t need. Well, I am here to keep us both on track this month by offering you some tips to help keep your money goals on track this month.
Get a Jump on Your Taxes. Getting a jump start on your taxes is generally a good idea that way, if you’re owed a refund, you’ll receive it faster and you can put it to work sooner. For most of us, we look forward to tax season because that means we get to decide on how we are going to financially help ourselves. Your refund can do a lot of good by either helping us pull us out of some financial debt, or saving it for later in a High Yield Online Savings Account.
Get a Free Credit Report. All this downtime at home is the perfect time to check and make sure there are no surprises you aren’t aware of, otherwise, that tax return may be used to clean up a credit mess. Did you know that each of the nationwide credit reporting companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—will provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. This is a perfect opportunity to check on your score, your report and your credit history to make sure you are financially secure for whatever may happen in the upcoming year. As always, if you have any question, check in at the credit union and talk to one of our Financial Service Representatives.
Find Ways to Pay Less. Staying on budget can be hard when you are going stir crazy during the cold winter months. Remember to stay on budget and don’t overspend on ordering food in, paying for entertainment, or even doing a DIY project. Stay strong and keep to your budget or learn where you can cut your costs and pay less. If you haven’t yet taken a close look into your spending habits, start by seeing where you can reduce some of your monthly expenses. Check your cell phone plan, car insurance or even the money you spend on non-essentials. It pays to shop around and ask questions about your bills, maybe even enough to give you some extra funds.
Pay Down Holiday Credit Card Debt. It’s so easy to spend too much on our loved ones over the holidays and say “oh, I’ll pay that off later”. Well, now is later. Decide on your plan of attack for paying down your credit card debt. A balance transfer allows you to transfer those high-interest credit cards with debt to a more feasible interest rate credit card that will allow you to pay down your balances faster.
Never fear, the groundhog has proclaimed that spring will soon be on its way. Before we know it, we will be planning our spring projects around the house with ease, knowing that we stayed on budget through the long, cold winter.