It’s New Year’s resolution time again. While shedding that holiday weight is on the top of most people’s list of goals this time of year, the second most desired resolutions are often monetary. So this year, make it a goal to not only improve your physical fitness but your financial fitness as well. East River Bank offers a full range of financial services for individuals and businesses. Christopher McGill, President and CEO of East River Bank has developed six tips for whipping your bank account into shape in 2014.
1. Pay Yourself First: Every month you sit down to write checks and pay bills online. The first person you should be putting on your payroll? Yourself! The easiest way to save is to set a designated amount of money from every pay period aside for savings and investment. A good goal to shoot for is 6 percent. Do this before you pay any other bills and make it a priority.
2. Divvy Up Unexpected Income: Did you get a holiday bonus this year? You are one of the lucky ones! While that 50 inch flat screen might seem like a good idea now, you should stick to the “rule of thirds.” Take one third and invest it or put it directly into your savings, take another third and put it towards a past debt and take the final third and treat yourself!
3. Pay Off That Credit Card Debt: The average American carries almost $7,000 in credit card debt. There is no better time than the present to make a commitment to paying that off and stop wasting your money on interest. It may take some sacrifices but those are only temporary. When you see that zero balance on your credit card statement, it will all have been more than worth it!
4. Make a Budget and Actually Stick to It: Gather up all of your income and expense information. Use East River Banks’ online banking system, Finance Works™ to figure out where you can do some fine-tuning to decrease your debt and increase your savings. A good breakdown: 30% to housing and debt (credit card bills, student loans, etc), 26% to living expenses (food, clothing, utilities, transportation, medical, entertainment), 25% to taxes (federal, state, local and property), 15% to savings and retirement funds and 4% to insurance (life, health, auto, homeowners etc).
5. Cash is King: Try using cash for most of your purchases. Cash is the most widely accepted form of currency and people who use it spend more wisely and are more accountable. Are you really going to use your credit or debit card for that $4 coffee? Those purchases will definitely add up. A great first step to having access to your cash is by using a surcharge-free ATM card, such as those offered to East River Bank customers, which grants them access to over 55,000 surcharge free ATMs worldwide.
6. Build an Emergency Fund: Make 2014 the year that you and your family are financially secure. Work to build three to six months worth of expenses into an emergency fund. If you are single the average is $10,000 and $30,000 for a family with a mortgage.
“The New Year is the perfect time to get financially fit,” says Christopher McGill, “because what could be a better resolution than creating a comfortable and secure future for yourself and your family.”
East River Bank has three convenient Philadelphia-area branch locations in East Falls, Roxborough and Old City. They offer 24 hour banking, free online banking and access to over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide. For more information on East River Bank please visit eastriverbank.com.
ABOUT EAST RIVER BANK
East River Bank offers a full range of financial services for both personal and business customers, including access to more than 55,000, surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint network and free online banking at eastriverbank.com featuring Finance Works™ powered by Quicken. The company is headquartered in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia and operates branches in East Falls, Roxborough and Old City. Visit eastriverbank.com or call 267-295-6420 for more information.