Improving your financial health needs to become a priority. Make this year the one where you take your savings to the next level.
You can’t forget to save if it’s automated. Whether it’s your 401(k) contribution taken pretax from your salary or automatic transfers from your checking account into a savings or money market account, automating will help you save without even thinking about it.
Financial planner Lauren Zangardi Haynes said your employer may be able to also split your paycheck so it goes into both your checking account and a savings account. “And then you can automatically transfer that money to an investment account, or to an IRA, or to a Roth IRA,” she said.
Evaluate your banking
Take a look at your savings account to make sure that you are earning a competitive annual percentage yield (APY). Yields have climbed in the past year, and a number of savings accounts are offering more than 2 percent APY. If you are not earning this, you are missing out on real earnings. Also, take a look at your checking account. If you are incurring a monthly maintenance fee for going under a required minimum balance, you should be able to find a way to avoid that — whether through a low minimum-balance checking account or by having a recurring direct deposit.
Maximize your cash back
When you make your purchases in 2019, make sure you are maximizing your savings and cash back. Weigh whether you would be better off earning more cash back with a credit card that has an annual fee but higher cash-back rewards, or a no-annual fee card that has a lower cash-back percentage.
Credit card shopping portals are also places where you can potentially maximize your cash back. By going through your credit card’s website or through a site such as Ebates, you can potentially earn more than your usual cash back.