Weigh options to increase cash. Consider taking on part-time work — job growth is increasing and there has been pressure on employers to increase wages — or sell unused belongings to raise cash. For help with major expenses, such as rent and medical bills, reach out to community organizations. The government website usa.gov/help-with-bills is a good place to find resources. Even temporary cash boosts could help you unload debt and give you room to create a savings plan.
SAVING A LITTLE AT A TIME
Maybe you’re able to save occasionally but would like to save more. If you’re already putting the previous tips to use, try these action items: Open a high-yield savings account. The average savings interest rate is a low 0.06% APY, but there are other accounts that pay many times more. With a high-rate savings account, your deposits earn more money while being safely parked in a federally backed bank account. Set up auto transfers to savings. Move money from a checking account to savings before you get the chance to spend it — on each payday, for example. If you are able to transfer just $25 into savings every two weeks, you’d stash $650 by this time next year. Bank bonus money. Decide now to save any extra money you receive, such as a cash birthday gift, tax refund or stimulus money that you don’t need immediately for expenses.
ALREADY SAVING, READY TO MAXIMIZE
Already have a savings plan and looking for ways to make the most of your money? If you’re using the previous tips, here’s how to make your money work harder: Reevaluate spending goals. You may have some of your savings earmarked for a big ticket item. But for some people, the pandemic redefined what was important to them. Before you cash out, consider whether your previous goals match your current needs. Economic conditions may also come into play. Alissa Johns, a real estate investor and small- business owner in Valparaiso, Indiana, and her husband originally set aside money to buy a new home in early 2021. But she says when they saw how tight housing inventory was and how construction prices were rising in the area, they chose to stay put. Instead of moving, “we decided to refinance our current home loan and vacant land loan for lower interest rates,” Johns says. She adds that doing so allowed them to “decrease our monthly expenses and be able to put more money towards saving.”
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