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Find savings as you pivot toward 2021

During the holidays, it’s easy for your finances to feel out of balance. Spending is up-up-up, and savings is an afterthought — if it’s a thought at all.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Skip the stress. Regain your financial balance as you head into 2021 with these 3 steps toward savings:

  1. Start with a plan
  2. Review your bills
  3. Put your savings to work

Savings starts with a plan

You can plan to save money in 2021. But where do you start? How much should you budget for savings?

Numerica uses a model called Spend-Save-Share to tell your money where it should go. It's a blueprint for your income:

  • Spend 70% on needs
  • Save 25% for emergencies and the future
  • Give 5% to support the community

Not there yet? That’s OK!

Every financial situation is different, and every journey starts with where you’re at. Set some SMART goals for your savings. Even if it’s a small amount, every penny, dime, and dollar saved is one step down the path.

Monthly bills are ripe for the picking

Most people prefer bill paying to match their car transmission — automatic, not manual. That’s OK, so long as you check up under the hood every once in a while.

If you use an amazing tool like Bill Pay, when is the last time you did some basic maintenance? Check your recurring charges. Are you still getting value for what you are paying?

Reviewing bills can seem intimidating, but it’s the perfect place to look for savings. The main aim is to go through your bills and find where you can cut spending and increase savings. Your secondary goal is awareness. Do you know where every dollar is going? Are these dollars going toward your well-being?

1. Organize your bills.

Gather all your monthly statements and invoices. Pretend it’s an egg hunt, and look everywhere to make sure you don’t miss one. Check your automatic payments. Review your credit card statement. Even your old-school mailbox is likely to include a regular bill or two.

Now, get those bills organized. Use this worksheet or find another tool that works for you. 

2. Identify potential savings.

On the worksheet, we included a “Potential Savings” checkbox. Evaluate every bill as an opportunity for savings:

  • Can enrolling in automatic payments reduce your rate?
  • Did the promotional rate on your cable or internet package expire? (If you can’t renegotiate your rate, consider transitioning to something more basic.)
  • What does your credit card statement reveal about eating out? Can you cut back 1 coffee, lunch, or splurge each week?

3. Put your changes into action.

Transform your findings into a to-do list. Call the cable company. Pack an extra lunch. Execute the plan.

The next part is pure joy. As you save a few dollars here and a few dollars there, a funny thing happens. They add up.

Time to put those savings to work

Congratulations! You’ve done the hard work of saving money. You know where your money is going, and you’ve figured out how to pay yourself instead of everyone else.

The final step is to put that savings to work on your behalf. Here are ideas on where to start if:

Financial stress doesn’t have to spoil the season. Make a plan, review your bills, and start 2021 off right with a savings strategy to achieve your goals. 

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April 22, 2021

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