Although I’m pretty good about saving my money and not spending cash I don’t have, I have to admit that, sometimes, when a friend wants to grab dinner after a long week, I throw my budget in the backseat and let my debit card take the wheel for a while. Although it’s probably safe to say that it’s universally considered wise to save your money and cut out unnecessary expenses, the best budget tips aren’t always the same for everyone, since factors like income, goals, and spending habits can affect how you approach your specific budget.
Unless you aced your econ class in college, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly how to start forming a financial plan, especially one that works for your specific personality and spending habits. But, according to Elisabeth Kozack, vice president of product innovation and customer experience at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, there’s a good chance you fit into one of four basic financial-personality types (more on those in a bit), and the good news is, there are some solid money-management habits that fit best with each personality.
"People have different habits, and how they approach their finances is often not that different from how they approach many other aspects of their life, like their gym routine or how they organize their inbox," Kozack explains in an email to Elite Daily. "Similar to these other parts of life, finding the right financial approach that works for you is key."
To get started, Kozack suggests pulling up your bank account information and taking a look at your spending habits from the past couple of months, so you can try to spot some recurring trends.
As for your long-term financial plans, before you commit to any one credit card or savings account, Kozack says it’s always important to explore your options. "For example, check the rate on your savings account and the APR [annual percentage rate] on your credit card and compare them to other options to make sure you are getting the most out of your money," she suggests. "A high-yield online savings account from Marcus, for example, offers an annual percentage yield of 2.25 percent, which is four times the national average."
For now, if you’re looking to fine-tune your finances to accommodate your personality and spending habits, here’s Kozack’s advice for how to get in great financial shape in 2019.
If you’re the kind of person who’s tried a variety of approaches to manage your finances, but you haven’t quite found something that’s worked for you, Kozack recommends a simple way to start getting on-track: Take a look at your most recent bank statements, and cancel any services you know you don’t use. For instance, maybe you signed up for a beauty subscription you no longer use, or perhaps you splurged for a cool streaming service that turned out to be kind of disappointing. It’s easy to forget about these smaller charges, but if you know you’re not using the product or service, do yourself and your bank account a favor by canceling ASAP.
Another great way to start getting things in order, says Kozack, is to check out your company’s retirement plans and make sure you’re choosing the best option for your lifestyle.
"You have a good financial footing, but are looking to take things to the next level with your money," Kozack explains of this financial-personality type. If this totally describes you, one great way to really grow in the new year is to "ignore your raise," says Kozack. Basically, she explains, instead of seeing a bump in your income as simply more spending money, try saving or investing that extra cash.
If you’re someone who has a hard time sticking to a resolution and you need help staying committed, Kozack suggests taking some of the busywork out of staying financially stable by making small adjustments here and there, like setting up recurring contributions to your savings and investment accounts, and disabling any of those online features that automatically save your credit card info for easy access on shopping sites.
It can sometimes seem scary to tie up extra cash in stocks or strict savings accounts, but for anyone who wants their money to turn into more money, Kozack tells Elite Daily it’s a good idea to check out options that give you plenty of flexibility.
One great way to do this is to explore a no-penalty CD — aka a certificate of deposit that has a pretty good interest rate, but lets you withdraw money as you want after seven days, Kozack explains.
If you’re still unsure about your options, she adds, don’t hesitate to check in with a financial advisor.
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