Fall is creeping in and the season of spending lurks just around the corner. As the leaves change from green to red, it’s important to make sure you bank account doesn’t do the same.
This Halloween, conquer your financial fears with our guide to staying on top of your finances that’s as “eerie” as 1-2-3.
Scary-good budgeting: No tricks here. The first step to mastering your money is to create and stick to a budget. This can be as simple or as specific as you’d like (but, we suggest simple). Track your expenses by category against your income so you can allocate your resources wisely and avoid frivolous spending. Be sure to designate an amount for savings and an emergency fund, too. Remember, it’s okay to treat yourself, as long as it’s in the budget.
Identify your phantom expenses: What exactly is a phantom expense, you ask? It’s a term used for any reoccurring charges that you’re unknowingly paying for. This can be streaming services, membership fees, subscriptions – you name it. Just like a ghost, these companies are experts in making sure their charges fly under the radar. Take a close look at your bank statement to identify the phantom expenses and get to the bottom of it.
Tackle Your Terrifying Debt: Debt can be the scariest monster of all and haunting you for eternity. What if we told you, though, that it doesn’t have to be this way? Whether it’s student loans, your car loan, your mortgage, or medical bills – starting with the highest-interest loans first is a fool-proof way to tackle your debt. By creating a strategy to eliminate your loans, it’ll feel like you’re no longer buried by the past.
Ghostly Emergencies: It happens when you least expect it. Believe it or not, preparing for the unexpected won’t summon any doom upon you or your loved ones. In fact, when disaster strikes, you’ll be able to handle it financially and you can direct your attention to where it should be. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund.
Investment Spells: While we don’t have a crystal ball that tells the future (wouldn’t that be sweet?), we do know that making educated and well-planned investments are always a good idea. Talk to a financial advisor on what works best for your situation and your goals. Investing may seem mysterious, but with some research you’ll learn that it’s not as scary as you may think. Before you know it, you’ll be forecasting stock trends like a wizard.
Don’t Let Interest Rates Haunt You: If you’re a current homeowner that closed on frighteningly-high interest rates, listen up. We know these scary rates aren’t going to last for eternity. When the right time comes to refinance (hopefully soon), know that reducing your high-interest mortgage can save you a significant amount of money. Don’t let the process or the paperwork scare you.
Wishing you a spooky and safe Halloween! For more information and savings tips, please visit www.PennCommunityBank.com.