Trick yourself into saving more this year

You can fool yourself into growing your savings accounts this year.

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to save money in 2017? You’re not alone. “Save more, spend less” and “pay down debt” are two of the top New Year’s resolutions in 2017, according to a study from GOBankingRates.

Making a New Year’s resolution is a lot easier said than done. While the goal is still new, and the year is stretched out before you like freshly fallen snow, take steps now to ensure that you achieve your resolutions later. Keep reading for tips to trick yo
urself into saving more money this year.

Automate your saving. Before you start saving, it’s helpful to track your spending. There are many budgeting tools and apps available that are free to join. Once you link the tool to your bank accounts, it will start monitoring your purchases and automatically assigning them to categories. You can take a hard look at how much you spend at restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores or on utilities and see where cutting back might be needed. These tools and apps will also make recommendations for how much to budget in each category, which you can adjust manually as needed.

Another useful feature of these tools is the ability to set up goals. If you have an amount you want to save this year, whether it’s for an emergency fund, a vacation or a new car, putting your goal in writing is a big first step.

Once you have a goal, it can still be easy to put off saving when other unexpected costs arise. Instead of making the choice to put away money each month, automate your deposits. You can work through your employer to get fixed amounts from your paycheck transferred to savings accounts. You can also set up transfers from your bank accounts to retirement or other savings accounts. Automating this process means that you don’t need to think about it again – that is, until you log in and see how much has accumulated.

Join a cash-back and coupon website. If you’ve ever gone through the checkout process, only to remember five minutes too late that you had a coupon, this tip is for you. Coupon and cash-back websites are free to join, and some even offer convenient browser extensions that tell you how much cash back you can earn on a retailer’s website, or whether there is a coupon code or sale available. This is an easy way to make sure that you’re not missing out on savings when you do your everyday online shopping.

Save your loose change. This tip might seem too easy, or like it can’t make that big of a difference to your savings, but you might be surprised by how much loose change you can collect in a year. If you need some motivation to add change to the jar, start up a competition with family members or co-workers on who can collect the most by the end of the year.

Look into employer discount programs. There’s a possibility that you’re already eligible to save money, and you don’t even know it. If you work for a large company, you may have access to employee discounts or “corporate perks.” Such rewards include fitness memberships, public transportation benefits and daycare centers. If you work for a smaller company with smaller-scale benefits, you still might be eligible for fitness membership reimbursement through your health insurance – perhaps helping to achieve another New Year’s resolution.

Call and ask for reduced bills. Another chance for saving big money this year can be as easy as a phone call. If you think your cable, internet or phone bills are too high, try calling your provider and asking for a lower bill. The retention team will often be able to offer you a discount, especially if they think you might leave to get a better price at a competitor. You can also give your credit card company a call and ask for a lower interest rate – the better credit score and track record you have with the company, the more chance you have at achieving this.

There you have it: five easy ways to save money in 2017. Try one (or all) of these ideas and start watching your savings account grow.

Originally published by U.S. News & World Reports on January 5, 2017

150106-FAFSA-Applications

If you plan to enroll in college this coming fall, it’s time for you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What is the FAFSA and why is it so special?

The FAFSA is a form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine your eligibility for financial aid programs including grants, federal loans and work study and is based on information about you and your family’s financial situation. Continue reading

141107-Building-Credit

A good credit score is one of the most valuable commodities a consumer can have. After all, your credit standing not only dictates the loan terms you’re offered and the insurance premiums you pay but also affects your ability to rent an apartment, buy a car, or find a job that requires either a security clearance or the handling of money. Heck, it could even have an impact your marital status, since financial irresponsibility is a major red flag for some people.

When all is said and done, your credit standing will either save or cost you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars – not to mention countless opportunities – over the course of your lifetime. It’s therefore a good idea to make an investment in your credit here and now. But how can you build and maintain a good credit score? Here are some tips: Continue reading

141107-Travelling

November is here and the race has begun to power through the holidays and into 2015. For many of our members, that means traveling across the country or world to celebrate various holidays with family and loved ones. But before you hop on a plane to grandma’s, it’s important to make sure your finances are in order to avoid late payment fees and accidental overdrafts. Continue reading

141028-Mortgage-Planning

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, people may find their focus shifting to holiday plans and family events. Traditionally this also means home buying plans take a backseat to the coordination of Thanksgiving dinner and thoughts about how to pay for all the holiday festivities coming up. Actually, now might be a really good time to focus on what it takes to buy your first home.

Part of buying a home is figuring out what it takes to make it all come together. The fun part is deciding where to look, how many bedrooms you need and if you finally get that game room with the large screen TV. The not-so-fun part is figuring out how much that all costs, what sort of down payment is required and what your monthly budget will look like with your dream home in hand. That’s why planning is very important, and what better time than now to work on putting it together? Continue reading

Saving money isn’t just about making a transfer to your savings account when you have extra money available. It’s about living within your budget so you can pay yourself and stop relying on your next paycheck before it even arrives. So we want to see how you save.

Now through November 21, connect with us on Facebook to submit a photo, image or video demonstrating how you save money, and you could win up to $500 toward your savings account!

Visit EECU on Facebook to Enter

Official Rules

141003 Debit MasterCard Benefits

EECU recently began converting all member debit cards to MasterCard® in order to offer members benefits not previously available. Here you’ll find more information about these benefits. For full details, please review the MasterCard® Guide to Benefits for Debit Cardholders that will arrive with your card.

Extended Warranty

Doubles the original manufacturer’s (or U.S. store brand) warranty of 12 months or less on most item you purchase with your Debit MasterCard®.*

Price Protection

If you make a purchase with your Debit MasterCard® and then see the same product advertised for a lower price within 60 days, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement for the price difference. You can take advantage of this benefit four times each year and may receive up to $250 per claim.* Continue reading