6 Ways to Raise Your Financial Game

posted 10/24/2014 in General

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” –George Bernard Shaw

Change isn’t something most of us accept easily; it’s hard, difficult and challenges us to go about things differently. This is especially true with changing the way we think about and act towards money because of the emotional and psychological attachment we have to it.

However, not all change has to be bad or scary. Think about the current state of your finances. You’re financial situation is probably one of these three scenarios: you’re drowning, barely keeping your head above water; you’re treading water, not really going anywhere but not drowning; or you’re making small, steady gains toward your goals.

The good news is that you can always take your financial game to the next level, no matter what your financial situation is. Try these six tips from Lincoln Savings Bank for taking your financial game to the next level regardless of your current situation.

  1. Open a checking account just for your recurring bills

You can open a Basic or LSB Values checking account at LSB for $100, so open an account that is meant only for money that goes toward paying bills. This will help you differentiate between your “spendable” income and money that MUST go toward recurring bills like rent, utilities or loan payments. Click here to learn more and open your account.

  1. Pay yourself twice

We’ve always advocated paying yourself first (transferring money to your savings account before spending a single cent of it). Now that you have any money going toward recurring bills in a separate checking account, you can toss a little bit of extra money into your savings account when possible. Even $50 twice a month means you’ll rack up $1,200 over the course of a year.

  1. Play the rounding game

This one is simple: always round up to the nearest $5 when transferring money over to your bills account. When you actually pay your bills, the remainder stays behind, meaning you’re building the account slowly over time.

  1. Focus on your loan’s principal

Whenever you make a payment on your loan, some of it gets sliced off the top and goes toward the interest you are being charged. A smart move: make an extra payment mid-cycle. This not only helps pay off the loan quicker, but it also takes down the amount of interest you’ll pay over time.

  1. Set a cushion & respect the cushion

It feels pretty good to have a comfortable cushion in your everyday checking account.  Take a set amount, say $500, and have that be your “0.” By not letting your balance go below your cushion, you protect yourself in the event of emergencies or increased spending.

  1. Turn your account balance into a game

So you’ve set your cushion at $500. Can you save enough and make enough smart decisions that you can reach $550 or even $600 as your cushion for next month? Making a game of your balance gives you increased incentive to make smart saving decisions.

Whatever scale you employ the above tips on, they will definitely help you raise your financial game to the next level. You can also call or come by your nearest Lincoln Savings Bank branch to see how we can help.

Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC

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