Inflation has caused prices to spike. Consumers are feeling the pinch — from the basics such as food, gas and cars — to just about everything else.
Here are six financial moves to help you make the most of your money.
Revisit How You Spend
Without a realistic budget, you may run into some financial setbacks that can hurt your bottom line. Track your spending for a month, then reduce spending on the extras like entertainment and travel by 5%.
Avoid impulse buying and take advantage of loyalty programs and generic brands when you can. Get rid of unused subscriptions or memberships. Negotiate better deals on things like cell phones, streaming services or cable. And if you need a bigger-ticket item such as a washer and dryer, buy now before prices go higher.
Get Debt Under Control
If you're not paying your credit card balance in full, make sure you use a card with a competitive interest rate or look for fee-free balance transfer offers that offer 0% for a set time period and pay it off.
Refinance Your Loans
Even though rates are rising, they're still at historic lows. Consider refinancing your car, and use the extra money you'll gain from a lower payment to put toward other expenses or your emergency fund. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, refinance to lock in a low fixed rate that won't be impacted by inflation.
Keep a cool head during this time, and take a long-term view when it comes to investing for your future. If you have questions, consider a portfolio review with a financial advisor.
Have a fixed amount of money automatically taken from your paycheck and deposited into a savings account that is separate from your regular checking and savings. You may also want to consider one of our Share Certificates, offering better rates than regular savings, as long as you're willing to leave your money untouched for a set period.
Get Help When You Need It
We have a variety of solutions to help you. If you are having trouble paying your SchoolsFirst FCU loans, discuss your options with one of our branch representatives.
All loans subject to approval.