Who says change must be a dramatic, drawn-out process? Small steps can add up, especially when saving. There’s plenty you can do in less time than it takes to get a haircut or have your nails done that will pay off financially.
Here are some quick fixes.
Automate: Set up automatic withdrawals to avoid late fees on bills. “Also round up all your transactions and deposit the change into your savings automatically,” says Joshua Zimmelman, president of Westwood Tax & Consulting in Rockville Centre. Some vendors, like utility companies may give discounts for automated payments.
Up the ante: Increase your 401(k) contribution by one percentage point. “You won’t notice the smaller paycheck, and this will have a meaningful impact long term,” says Clayton Moyer, a certified financial planner with FCA Corp. in Houston.
Stick to cash: “It’s easy to overspend with a credit card. Carry the amount of cash you know you need,” says Riley Adams, a CPA and founder of personal finance blog, youngandtheinvested.com.
Be proactive: Call your credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate. Cancel inactive memberships and subscriptions. Switch to a bank that pays higher interest than your current one. If you change jobs, compare your old 401(k) with the new one. Says Michele Lee Fine, a financial representative with Guardian in Jericho, “If the new plan is better, move your assets from your old account."
Age counts: Neal Stern, a CPA with Greenmeadow Associates in Deer Park, reminds seniors, “Your local supermarket and other merchants may offer a designated day of the week when you can get special discounts just for asking. See if you qualify.”