Tips for Avoiding a “Financial Groundhog Day”By First IB on January 30, 2017
Do you find yourself mistreating your bank account over and over again – kinda like an overspending Groundhog Day? Here are some common, repetitive money mistakes you might be making that affect your wallet and credit.
Buying too much…too often. Does this sound familiar? You woke up on the wrong side of bed, so you swing by your favorite coffee shop to buy a latte on the way to work. Or maybe you had a bad day, and you decide to head to the store for some retail therapy on the way home. And one of the most common habits, you didn’t take the time to pack a lunch so you decide to go out to eat instead.
Bad habits like these can really make your expenses add up — not to mention a couple extra pounds the next time you step on a scale. Instead of spending money to improve your mood, find ways to treat yourself that are less expensive or even free! Go for a walk outside. Dust off your bike. Take advantage of the gym membership you already have. Learn how to cook your favorite dish. Whatever you do, recognize the difference between making an occasional splurge and making excuses to justify every purchase.
Lack of credit card knowledge. You pay off your credit card in full every month, but somehow your credit score isn’t getting better — it’s actually getting worse! Are you using one credit card for all of your purchasing, just to rack up points? Spending close to your limit can actually hurt you. Keep your credit card usage low – ideally, less than one-third of your limit. Need another card to spread out your expenses? Try our First Internet Bank Visa Cashback card, and earn 3% back on all purchases at gas stations and 1% back everywhere else. Visit firstib.com/cashback to learn more and apply.
Being complacent with payments. When was the last time you actually looked at the detail of your monthly bills? If you’re just paying your bills mindlessly, you could be losing money unnecessarily. Take a few minutes to review your expenses and shop around for a better deal. Get a couple quotes for insurance to ensure you’re getting the best coverage at the best price for your home and car. Compare plans for other television packages, and don’t be afraid to barter with your current provider. Do the same thing for your cellphone carrier when your contract is up. You’ll be surprised how much you can save when you do some comparison shopping with major or recurring expenses.
A few more quick tips. You’ve probably heard them all before, but there’s no time like the present to break out of the Groundhog Day overspending cycle: pay off your credit card every month to avoid paying steep interest; start or build your emergency savings account so you’ll be prepared for unexpected expenses; check your credit report on a regular basis to watch for suspicious activity because bad credit can REALLY cost you; and last, but certainly not least, create a monthly budget — and stick to it! At First IB, we make it easy to monitor your spending with our free mobile app, which allows you to check your accounts from the palm of your hand. Log in with the touch of a finger or the bat of an eye!
As always, we’re here to help you make smarter financial choices. Visit us online or contact a First IB Banking Specialist at 1-888-873-3424 with any questions.
Happy Groundhog Day from First IB…Happy Groundhog Day from First IB!
(See what we did there?)