Do you know where your money is going? Without a good budget, it's hard to keep track of your spending each month. However, budgeting isn't always easy. If you don't use a budget, you're not alone. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget. Luckily, in today's digital world, creating and sticking to a budget has never been easier! Here are some easy-to-use tools that will help you develop a budget, control your spending habits and make the most of your money.
Build a budget
Setting up a household budget doesn't need to be tedious or time-consuming! For extra budgeting help, use one of Wright-Patt Credit Union's premade budgeting worksheets. You can also use Money Management, a free service available through WPCU's Mobile and Online Banking. Money Management allows you to see all of your financial accounts – including accounts you have with other financial institutions – all in one place, with one login. With the ability to track and categorize your spending, manage your budget and set financial goals, you can see exactly where your money is going and adjust your budget accordingly.
We all splurge from time to time, but frequent overspending can make it difficult to pay off debt and reach your savings goals. If you need extra accountability to stay on budget, try an app like PocketGuard, which calculates how much money you have in your “pocket" to spend each day and sends alerts if you approach your daily budget limit. Clarity Money, another smartphone app, analyzes your spending habits to find coupons and discounts on frequently purchased items.
Automate bill payments
Are you having trouble keeping track of the bills you need to pay each month? Stay on top of your monthly expenses and avoid late-payment fees by setting up automatic transfers from your checking or savings account. With WPCU's Online Bill Pay, you can make secure one-time or recurring payments to nearly anyplace you would normally pay by check. You can also set up reminders and make payments from your smartphone using WPCU's mobile app.
Save your spare change
When making your budget, it's a good idea to create a “savings" category and count savings as a regular monthly expense. Wright-Patt Credit Union's EasySaver® round-up program is one way to make the most of every swipe of your debit card. With this program, your total is automatically rounded up to the nearest whole dollar amount when you use your WPCU debit card for everyday purchases. The difference is then deposited from your checking account into an EasySaver savings account at the end of the month. It's an easy way to watch your small change add up to big savings!
Looking for more great ways to Save Better, Borrow Smarter and Learn a Lot about your finances? Wright-Patt Credit Union is here to help! Check out some of our helpful online tools or register for one of our upcoming Financial Education Seminars.