Did you make a resolution this year to save more money, pay down debt, or rid yourself of stress? If you've found yourself wondering how you're going to accomplish all of that, then you'll love this!
These six tips will help you trim spending, beef up savings, and reduce stress:
1. Pay it off.
Pay off your credit cards to save money. Let's say you have a $2,000 balance at 18% interest. If your minimum payment is 2% of the balance due each month, it will take you 19 years to pay it off and you'll incur $3,862 in interest. But if you increase your monthly payments to 8% of the balance due -- much more than the minimum -- you'll reduce the payback time from 19 years to three years and nine months, and your interest costs now are only $433. You've just "saved" $3,429!
Use CPFCU's credit calculators
for your own savings comparisons.
Small changes yield big savings on your utility bill:
* Properly insulate all ducts.
* Use programmable thermostats. Turn your thermostat back 10% to 15% for eight hours each day during the winter to save as much as 10% a year on your energy bill.
* Use ceiling fans to reduce both cooling and heat bills.
3. So what's 65 cents?
Grab a calculator. Add up what you spend on so-called "little things" that end up being budget-busters:
* If you spend 65 cents a day -- seven days a week -- on soda, that adds up to $237 a year.
* If you spend $1.75 a day -- every weekday -- on coffee, that's $455 a year.
* If you spend $3.75 a day -- every weekday -- on fast food, that's $975 a year.
* If you spend $4 each day on cigarettes, that's $1,460 a year.
The total you could save on these little things? A whopping $3,127 a year!
4. Tune it up.
Regular automobile maintenance -- including low-cost oil changes, filter changes, and tire rotation -- can save big bucks by preventing costly repairs. Keep your engine tuned and your tires inflated to their proper pressure. On the road, stay within posted speed limits because gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds higher than 60 miles per hour. Avoid "jackrabbit" starts and unnecessary idling, combine errands, and remove excess weight from the trunk.
5. Transfer it.
Pay yourself first -- set up automatic transfers to your share
or money market
account. Have your paycheck automatically deposited to your credit union account. Consider using direct bill payment
from your share draft account for recurring payments like household bills, insurance premiums, automatic investment and savings plans, mortgage payments, auto loan payments, and charitable donations. Set up a Holiday Club Account
. Take advantage of your employer's tax-advantaged retirement plan -- both are painless, automatic deductions from each paycheck.
6. Refinance it.
You may be able to refinance other loans to low-interest credit union loans
and reduce your monthly payments, cut your total interest, or even cash out equity in your home or auto to pay off (consolidate) high-interest debts. Check out our loan rates
and mortgage rates
, then apply online
. Or if you'd like to discuss your options, one of our friendly loan officers will be happy to tell you about all of our great loan products and find the ones that best serve your needs.