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Savings: Not Just for the Holidays

Layden Hale Layden Hale Savings: Not Just for the HolidaysPhoto via Pixabay.
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Holiday sales often blur the calendar. How many days does that Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day or Thanksgiving Day “sale” last? Now that we have entered November, have you noticed how many days are consumed by “Black Friday” sales and advertising?

This is the time of year when most are concerned with budgeting for the holidays, so as to avoid dripping in debt come January. But the truth is, budgeting and savings should not be directed strictly toward end-of-year gift giving spending, but a function of year-round routine.

So, in the spirit of the holiday season, here are a few tips on how to make savings and budgeting a year-round success using modern day tools.

  • Mint.com is a free app that has more than 15 million users. It can be used to budget, set goals, track spending, and pay bills online.
  • MyMoney.gov is an excellent website to gain free financial information for children all the way to the elderly.
  • YNAB (You Need a Budget) is a more detailed budget app that costs $4.17 per month.
  • Acorns and Digit are simple, automated ways to start saving and investing money.

Now what?

  • Create a budget to avoid overspending.
  • Review all standing debt so you know where your money is going.
  • Set up a repayment plan to pay off debt in a specific amount of time.
  • Set up an emergency savings account and try to get to a $1,000 balance as soon as possible. Financial responsibility means being prepared for the unexpected.
  • Start saving for retirement as soon as possible to get the benefit of compound interest. People are living longer and you don’t want to outlive your money.
  • Finally, maintain healthy financial habits, and put financial goals in writing. Goals are more likely to be achieved if they’re written down. Keep track of your credit score, and review your credit report at least once a year.

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