12 months of saving: A year in review
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Did you become a smarter saver in 2017?
We did it! 11 months of savings tips all about working together to be better at saving money. You may have tried one or two of our savings tips, or maybe you tried more. Over the last year, we’ve been on a challenge to set goals, learn how to shop smarter, save a penny a day and so much more.
Smarter Savings Recap
January: SMART Goals
This challenge was all about looking at your New Year’s Resolution. (Can you believe it has already been a year? Are you ready to make your new goals? Make it count. You’ve got this!)
Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and have a realistic time frame. Think about it. If a goal isn’t realistic, your chances of achieving that goal aren’t very likely. Help set yourself up for success.
Did you hit any of your 2017 goals? If not, the year is not over, and you can roll that SMART Goal right into 2018. It’s a great chance to learn from any stumbling blocks and put a big gold star next to that goal.
February: Finding Savings
February is the perfect month to match your bills, statements, and areas of saving. You’re going to love all the potential savings.
Did you save money by enrolling in automatic savings? Is it time to reevaluate your streaming subscription? Can you save a bit by eating out one less time?
March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. It’s also a great month to take a closer look at your budget to find some easy savings. The idea being that any savings you find could then go into a savings account like Bonus Saver where they would grow, grow, grow!
From food bills to entertainment, home to health and beauty, find the areas in life where you could save a few dollars. Maybe it was hosting a clothing exchange or a potluck night. Did any of those things work for you?
If you didn’t try them, we encourage you to try this one – ask yourself, how much is that latte costing you?
April was all about kicking your brain into gear – letting it coast along in neutral equals impulse buying. While impulse purchases may charge up your brain, it leaves your wallet depleted.
Protect your financial well-being by engaging your brain when it comes to buying. If you feel the urge to splurge, make sure to: wait, make mindful purchases, put the amount you plan on spending into savings and see what happens. And lastly, avoid overusing of that credit card!
We were challenged in May to find low-cost summer activities for the kiddos. We came up with going to bargain matinee and low-cost theaters, exploring the outdoors by taking a nature hike and a scavenger hunt, just to name some of our favorites.
Now that we’re into winter, do you have any low-cost activities for kids? We’d love to have you share them on Facebook or snap a picture and tag us on Instagram @NumericaCU.
June: Penny a Day Challenge
This was one of our most popular savings posts, and we are anxious to see how this works for everyone who tried it.
The idea behind this tip was to help your kiddos find a way to make money – think chores around the house or Lemonade stands. Once they made a little money, it was time to practice saving with a penny a day. If you gave this a try this year, how about going the full year and starting your penny a day on January 1?
Go ahead, we challenge you!
July: Where does your money go
The goal was to become even more aware of your spending habits. If you can’t quite seem to tackle your budget, you might be able to find potential pitfalls by tracking your spending.
This month was all about making use of the budgeting tools at your fingertips, literally. Have you checked out Online Banking’s tools? If not, do so. You will not regret it. And, if you want some help, chat with one of our awesome team members! Just scroll down the right-hand side of this page until you see the webchat button. It looks like this:
You can also call us at 800.433.1837.
July’s saving tip was all about using a budget to find extra savings. Budgets can be scary business, but Numerica’s Online Banking tools really do make it easier to spot those cracks in the foundation and figure out where you might be losing savings.
August: College savings tips and hacks
Back-to-School is stressful, but it can be especially hard on the wallet. In August, we discovered some straightforward ways to save money for college students heading back-to-school. Some simple ideas included reusing items we have at home or that other family members have but are not using.
We also tackled one of the biggest areas of spending in college – books. Whether it was renting them instead of buying them, taking it one book at a time or getting them from someone who has already taken the class, we covered quite a few options.
One of our favorite tips was the frugal fashion and different ways to update and improve your look without spending a ton! Did any of you try this? If you did, again, we’d love to see the results on Facebook or Instagram. (You can also send us a snap on Snapchat!)
September: Tips to save money on your food budget
Do you realize how much the average family spends on food each month? Do you know how much of that food gets thrown away? The amount is staggering.
September’s tips work all year long when it comes to saving money on your food budget. Start with a menu and plan what you are going to eat. You may not necessarily stick with it, but it’s a great guideline that helps control your spending.
Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid of leftovers, shopping lists or meal prep times. You’d be surprised how much money you can save. When you get an idea of just how much you can save, set-up a scheduled transfer for that amount to your Bonus Saver account and watch the savings add up.
October: Saving for Retirement
We get it. The idea of saving for retirement, how much to save and when to start saving for retirement, is hard. In October, we turned our savings focus to retirement. When you are struggling with balancing the needs of today and even short term saving, trying to find a way to live off our retirement savings is overwhelming.
By spending wisely, making sure we have widely distributed investments and savings, and finding the right person to help us make the right financial decisions, we can begin to tackle our own retirement plan. Everyone’s path to retirement is as unique as you are, and that is okay.
For most people, November is the season of shopping. Start with a list. No, we are not trying to be Santa, but a list will help keep you organized. It’s a great way to figure out everyone you need to shop for, set some budget limits and even keep track of some gift ideas. It also gives you the option of comparison shopping! Find that bargain.
We also had some fun ideas like creative wrapping paper, a gift exchange or cutting out gifts altogether.
December: Reflecting on the year
The end of the year is a wonderful chance to look back and help to celebrate our victories. It is also an opportunity to see where we would like to grow for the year to come.
Stay tuned as we look for more bargains and money savings tips for you. If you ever have questions or suggestions for us, please don’t hesitate to give us a ring.
And, for goodness sake, this is the season to make that New Year’s resolution to save. Try it. Get a Bonus Saver account and start earning! Don’t leave that money on the table.
What’s your savings goal for 2018
It’s the perfect time to make changes and decisions that will help you really put a dent in your savings goal.
- Why not pledge to do a 52-week money challenge? On the first week of the year, you save a dollar. The second week, $2. The third week, $3 and so on. When you keep adding to the previous week, by the end of the year you could end up with $1,378 in your account!
- Make a deal with yourself to put a dent in your debt. Figure out what method works best for you and then stick to it. For every month that you pay your debt down, reward yourself.
- How about a meeting with a financial advisor? Ask your favorite Numerica branch or check out Numerica’s Invest
- Find a way to live on less than you make. Living on less than you earn means you have enough money for a decent savings account. Come on, you can do this!
Pick a goal. Stick with it. They say it takes 21 days to start forming a habit. Can you imagine what would happen if you continued for a year?
You’ll always have a relationship with money. Let’s make it a good one!