Categories: Financial Planning
Sometimes it seems pretty daunting to start making changes to your financial life. But a lot of our financial life is based on habits that have formed over the years without giving much thought to those behaviors. There are plenty of small, smart changes you can make that will have a big impact on your financial life long-term. We’re highlighting five actions you can take in just five minutes:
- Start an emergency fund. Things happen all the time. It can be financially devastating to face an emergency without a small stockpile of money to address the issue. Whether it’s an urgent car repair or a hefty medical bill, you need to have a plan in place and the financial cushion available to address it. Even a small change like putting 1% of each paycheck into a savings account is a good way to start working on that emergency fund.
Having a checking account makes ensuring you have that emergency fund much easier.
Sign up for an online checking account – a new way to bank!
- Increase your 401k contribution. Log online and bump up your 401k or Roth IRA contributions. If you increase your annual contribution by just 1 – 2%, you may not notice the difference on payday, but it’ll make a huge difference for your retirement long-term.
- Negotiate your bills. We can quickly get used to paying a large cable or internet bill, complaining about our internet provider and paying the same bill month after month. It never hurts to call them to make sure you are getting the best price and taking advantage of all available discounts and promotional offers.
- Get a password manager. Enough with using your pets’ names as passwords. It’s time to get stronger passwords. A password manager is a great way to do so–it creates super strong passwords for you and saves them in a digital vault. Your accounts will be more secure, decreasing your chances of getting hacked. As an added bonus, you won’t have to remember as many passwords because they’ll all be safely stored electronically! Popular options include 1Password and LastPass.
- Join a Buy Nothing group. Buy Nothing groups are a fantastic way to both reduce spending and waste. You can join one local to your community and get rid of old items you no longer need and give new lives to things your neighbors didn’t need anymore! It’s a great option for cutting back on your spending while being eco-friendly at the same time.
We hope these practices are useful to you as you start making changes in your financial life! Remember, a little bit of effort can go a long way.