Working toward financial stability can be a daunting task, but developing healthy spending habits and practicing smart savings can make it easier for you to plan for the future and take control of your finances.
Improve your financial stability and security with this advice from the experts at Credit One Bank, a data-driven financial services company that is also one of the largest and fastest growing credit card issuers in the United States. United States.
Create a spending plan and budget
By budgeting and looking at your spending habits, you are able to see exactly how much money you are getting in and where – or what – you are spending it on. This is often the first step towards achieving short- and long-term financial goals, whether it’s taking a vacation, paying off debt, buying a new home, or saving for the home. retirement.
Add up your household income, including paychecks and other income, such as investments or rental property, then calculate your monthly expenses starting with recurring bills like rent or mortgage, car payments, insurance, utilities and subscriptions. Also consider variable expenses like gas, groceries, and entertainment. Once you’ve calculated your income and expenses, look for places where you could cut back on your expenses to help you reach your financial goals. Remember to be flexible; your budget and expenses will change based on your needs and circumstances.
Earn rewards on your daily purchases
You can stretch your budget further by taking advantage of rewards offered by your bank or credit card company. For example, some credit cards offer cash back rewards for specific daily purchases. An option like the Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards credit card is one of these credit cards. Customers can earn 5% cash back on the first $ 5,000 of qualifying purchases per year on things like gasoline, groceries, internet, cable, satellite TV and mobile phone services , plus 1% cash back back on all other purchases.
“Make sure your rewards work for you – and not just as a fancy sign-up bonus,” said David Herpers, product manager at Credit One Bank. “Find a credit card that continues to give you more for your daily expenses. “
Compare interest rates when opening a savings account
When selecting a savings account, look for the highest return, but also consider the minimum required balance, introductory rates that may expire after a set period of time, and the ease with which you can access your money. and your account information. Often times, digital banks can offer higher rates than traditional brick and mortar branches because of their lower overheads. Make sure any bank you consider is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) so you can earn a fair rate and protect your money.
Create an emergency fund
Emergency funds create a financial reserve that can keep you afloat in times of need without having to rely on high interest loans or maximizing a line of credit. These funds can be used to pay for large and unexpected expenses such as medical bills, loss of a job, auto repairs, or the repair or replacement of household appliances.
To build your emergency fund, set a monthly savings goal – even an amount as small as $ 50 per paycheck can have an impact over time – and set up a way for the funds to be automatically transferred. on the account whenever you get paid to make the task less strenuous. Periodically check the account and adjust if necessary or if your budget allows. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 3-6 months of living expenses.
Keep track of your credit
Your credit score provides lenders and other parties with a quick way to get a feel for your financial history and your ability to pay. Having a good credit rating usually offers better interest rates and makes it easier to approve loans, rent an apartment, take out a mortgage, or finance large purchases. Bad credit can charge you higher rates and lead to potential loan applications being turned down.
To help you understand how different actions affect your credit score, many sites offer free credit reports and tools that allow you to stay up to date and track your score over time. Be sure to check the reviews and verify the legitimacy of the site before entering your information. Additionally, many credit card companies, including Credit One Bank, provide free access to online credit reports on a regular basis to give customers an easier way to stay on top of their finances.
Find other ways to make your money work for you at CreditOneBank.com/articles.
Understand the emerging capabilities of cards
Alternative payment methods, like credit and debit cards, have been around for decades and are growing in popularity due to their convenience over cash, but technology has evolved further to allow for an increase in contactless payment. Consider these abilities that many cards now offer:
Smart Cards (EMV) use smart technology to store data on the microchip embedded in the card, allowing an added level of security with a one-time code generated as part of each transaction to keep payment information more secure than slipping the magnetic strip.
Contactless cards are equipped with near-field communication technology that allows payments to be made at a terminal without swiping or inserting. The cardholder’s name, billing information and security code are never transmitted when listening to the card bearing the contactless indicator on an equipped terminal.
Smart device payments can be made by adding your credit or debit card to the wallet app on your smartphone or tablet. Applications can also be added to certain smartwatches to further facilitate contactless payments at participating merchants.