5 Ways to Up Your Money Game in 2018

This article was developed as part of Till’s partnership with EVERFI, Inc.

It’s time for a mid-year check-in on new year resolutions for self-improvement. It’s never too late to prioritize your financial wellness or re-calibrate goals you set in January.

Ready to up your finances? Read on.

  1. Make a Budget and Stick to it. Budgeting is one of most effective ways to manage your money. Creating and monitoring a budget allows you to track your expenses, adapt to changes, and achieve your financial milestones. Budgeting can also help you save for emergencies and plan for the long run – including retirement.

Use an online budget building tool to break your budget down into simple, easy steps and get started: Click Here

pexels-photo-590022

2. Build Your Emergency Savings. Unexpected expenses happen more often than we like to think. According to a 2018 Bankrate study, less than half of Americans are not financially prepared to cover the expenses that come with emergencies, such as illness, job loss, or even home and auto repairs.

Get more information on the immediate steps you can take this year to start and grow your savings: Learn More

 

pexels-photo-208459

3. Plan for Your Retirement Now. Less than half of Americans take the steps needed to set themselves up for a secure retirement. While saving for the future is easy to put off in favor of more immediate needs, the earlier you start, the more opportunity you’ll have to grow your savings over time.

There’s no better time than now to start planning for retirement. Learn about options, like IRAs and 401(k) plans, with our free retirement education: Retirement 101
pexels-photo-1034597

  1. Get Ahead of Your Taxes. Taxes are confusing, and many people get bogged down by complex terms and lengthy paperwork. However, doing your taxes doesn’t need to be a source of anxiety. In fact, getting ahead of your taxes can reap many benefits, including lowering stress and having early access to a refund for year-long planning.

Make filing your taxes a breeze with tips from our 5 minute interactive learning module: Click Here
pexels-photo-345046

5. Take Control of Your Credit. Your credit score can have significant impacts on your financial security and flexibility. Yet, many people have never had the opportunity to learn what a credit score is, what factors impact a credit score, and what actions they can take to make sure their score is healthy.

Take a few minutes to understand the factors that impact your credit score and you’ll be well on your way to building a more secure financial future: Take Control

pexels-photo-919436
No matter the time of year, do a quick check of your financial health and progress towards goals and make adjustments as needed.

Registered users can access our entire library of financial education topics through the online dashboard at www.HelloTill.com.

Life Tips for Acing Your Finances

No matter your stage of life or state of finances, this infographic has tips to help you understand and conquer financial milestones.

info 1info 2info 3info 4info 5

Free Budgeting Tools to Start Saving

Try not to overthink budgeting to the point of stressing yourself out.  Trying to budget and save money can be challenging for us all, especially if you do not have the right tools to get started.  There are multiple ways to budget your money that literally cost you nothing.

  • Use your very own online banking app: Banking online is a tool that can be used at no cost and most of us are already using this form of banking.  Check out the budgeting dashboard that allows tracking of your cash flow and spending and setting your spending target.
  • Create an Excel Spreadsheet: I know, I know most people cringe at the thought of using Excel.  I definitely do from time to time; however, it is a great way to keep track of all of your spending on a monthly basis.  This will allow for you to see how much you are spending, when you are spending, and what you are spending those hard earned dollars on.
  • Use the envelope method: The envelope method is great for those of us that have to physically see where our money is going.  When you get a paycheck, take a portion of your monies and put it in an envelope, then write what that money is for on the envelope.  This can be done with multiple bills or you can even do it with your spending target.  If you use this option with your spending target the goal is to not run out of money before your next pay period.  If you run out then you will need to go back and revisit where you are spending the most.
  • Notebook Method: Most of us keep some kind of journal or notebook to jot things down we consider important.  Why not use this to make your spending important and track what you are paying out monthly and daily?  Be sure to list all of your monthly household bills and the due dates at the beginning of your book.  Next create a page for your weekly budget break down.  From there you can create a budget based on when your pay dates and the due dates of your bills.

Trying to budget and saving money can work for anyone; the key is starting with a realistic amount that works for you. Always remember budgeting and saving something is better than not trying, even if you are only outing away a couple of dollars at a time.

While You’re Away: Do’s and Don’ts for Home Security

It’s that time of year again; summer vacations and long weekends cannot come soon enough for most people. Before you pack your bags and leave your home, follow these safety tips to prevent break-ins or other issues when you’re gone.

 

  1. Avoid posting photos or check-ins on social media

    Although it’s tempting to share your latest status and induce FOMO on your friends, wait until you’re back home before telling the world that you and your entire family are 500 miles away.

    pexels-photo-452738

  2. Close blinds and curtains

    Deter would-be burglars by making it difficult to see inside your house. If they aren’t sure whether someone is home or not, the chances of breaking in greatly diminish.

  3. Turn on lights or use timers

    Plug-in timers are by far the best option, since they can be set to “random” on a time schedule. If you don’t have a timer, leave on a few small interior lights and perhaps one exterior.

  4. Leave on a radio or TV

    Choose your favorite channel and leave it on a medium-level volume.

  5. Ask a friend or neighbor to check in

    Find a trusted friend to check on your house or grab your mail while you’re gone. If you get newspapers delivered it’s a good idea to get them picked up rather than piling on the driveway like a neon “No One Is Home” sign.

    pexels-photo-1166415

  6. Do a final walk before leaving

    Ensure everything is unplugged, the stove is off, and consider turning up your thermostat a bit to save energy and money!

Unfortunately break-ins happen everywhere, but following these tips will help make your home as safe as possible while you’re away vacationing.

pexels-photo-386025