You’ve finally made the leap and left that big bank behind for Valley Federal Credit Union. You’ve already begun reaping the benefits of having wonderful customer service and a free checking account. Now that you’re a part of an institution that cares about its clients, you’re wondering how to best simplify your finances. We at Valley Federal Credit Union have a few tips on how to get started and take control of your budget.
You’ve opted out of receiving a direct deposit at your place of employment because you like holding that paycheck in your hand on payday. While that literal payoff may be satisfying, it can work against you when trying to simplify your finances. Switch to direct deposits and say goodbye to driving to the bank and waiting in line. With direct deposit, your check will automatically appear in your checking account with no hassle, rain or shine.
Consider Automatic Bill Pay
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve marked your calendar: your payments are always late. You just can’t seem to remember your due dates. Automatic bill pay can save you from your forgetfulness. As long as you have the right amount of funds in your account, automated payments can help raise your credit score by preventing you from ever missing a payment again. Save yourself the trouble of late fees and pay all of your bills automatically and electronically.
Take Advantage of Technology
Take advantage of online tools that can help you manage your account and make use of Valley Federal Credit Union’s mobile banking services. Access your account online from wherever you are with the Valley Federal Credit Union app or log in online to your account. These services can allow you to securely log in from wherever you are just by using a mobile phone, computer or tablet. It’s the easiest way to keep tabs on your spending and account balances.
Stick to a Single Credit Card
You’re probably looking to simplify your finances because they’re not in the best shape, and that’s usually because of the number of credit cards you own. Consider cutting down on how many you have. Get rid of all of those department store cards and gas cards offered to you.
These kinds of cards always come with higher interest rates that cancel any of the discounts you receive. Apply for a Valley Federal Credit Union credit card, which has competitive rates and rewards that cater to its customers. The Classic Card starts at 17.95%, the Gold Card at 12.95% and the Platinum Card at 9.95%.
We all know what it’s like to overspend with a debit or credit card. Swiping it is so simple and it can be easy to lose track of just how much you’re spending. Try using cash for a week and keep tabs on how much lighter your wallet becomes. The number of times you physically hand over money can be an eye-opener. Make it fun and divide your spending money into separate envelopes. When the “entertainment” envelope gets lighter and lighter, you’ll start to realize that you may be overspending on things you really don’t need.
Implement a No-Spending Day
Test yourself and see if you can go a day without opening your wallet. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save in just 24 hours. Get rid of that daily Starbucks habit, stop eating out and pack your own lunch. Once you get through an entire day, try going two days. Challenge yourself! You’ll find that it gets easier to say no to bad spending habits.
Batch Bill Pay
Pay all of your bills on the same day. This will alleviate any stress or anxiety about missing a payment deadline. Due dates will probably vary for all of your monthly bills but vendors won’t mind getting paid a couple of weeks earlier. The point is, you’ll have gotten your finances out of the way and can budget accordingly until the next bill day comes around.
We know what it’s like to open that mailbox and have it stuffed with junk mail and bills. Get rid of that mess and sign up for online billing. You won’t just be saving yourself from a mountain of paperwork. You’ll also be saving the environment by cutting back on paper statements.
Work on that Emergency Fund
There’s nothing like having a secret weapon in your back pocket when things get rough. In this case, that weapon can help you fight off eviction or repossession. You don’t know what life will throw out to you that can result in money problems. It’s great to have that emergency fund just in case things don’t pan out the way they’re supposed to.
How do you start that emergency fund? Try implementing automatic transfers on payday. Every time your paycheck is deposited in your checking account, have Valley Federal Credit Union automatically transfer $50 into your savings account. Once it’s done, budget what you have left. You’ll get into the habit of spending less while saving without even thinking about it.
Cancel Your Subscriptions
Do you really need those magazine subscriptions, that cable subscription or that gym membership? There are plenty of ways to cut down on monthly spending habits. These extras can eat away at your bank account and when you add it all up, they can cost you hundreds of dollars a year.
Stop Buying More Stuff
This may seem like a no-brainer, but only buy what you need and declutter your life. If you’re hoarding clothes you’ll never wear, make a quick buck by selling them in a garage sale. Get rid of the things you don’t need and focus on what’s important in your life. This will be good for your mind and wallet.
Let VFCU Help you
Take control of your finances today with Valley Federal Credit Union. We offer personalized services, a live call center to answer any questions, overdraft protection, in-house loan approvals and ATMs at over 700 Stripes stores in the Valley. Since 1935, Valley Federal Credit Union has remained a not-for-profit institution that helps serve the Valley’s unique community with the best services possible. Open an account with our credit union in Brownsville today!