Three Ways to Increase Your Savings Potential

Here are three habits that are guaranteed to increase the amount of money you can save. In fact, if you train yourself to do these every week, month, every year, you will have more money for the rest of your life.

Always pay bills on time

Read every bill carefully to look for the Payment Due date. Circle it in red. Write it on your calendar.

Make sure your payment is in on time. If you are mailing a payment, send it one week before the deadline. If paying online, schedule it two days before the deadline and print or write down the confirmation number.

Eliminate credit card interest payments

Always pay the entire balance on your credit card statements. Paying credit card interest only increases the cost of everything you buy. Do you really want to pay more for buying a tube of toothpaste because you didn’t pay the full balance?

If you can’t pay the entire balance be absolutely sure that you pay at least the minimum payment on time. You’re already on the hook for interest by not paying the balance in full; so don’t add a penalty for not paying the required minimum amount.

The new credit card laws require companies to clearly show the minimum payment required. In addition, it shows you how long it will take to pay off the entire balance if you pay only the minimum, along with how much more you will pay in total interest.

Keep enough money in your account

This seems obvious. You want to have enough money in your account to pay your bills. However, once you start using automatic online bill payment, your money just automatically disappears each month.

It’s up to you to keep the coffers full before the payment is subtracted. When you buy things on impulse, you may be spending money that was earmarked for paying bills. The moral of the story is: you can’t spend money more than once!

Depending on how your account is set up, once your account goes in the red there are consequences, none of the good. Some banks will cover a small amount and charge a fee. Some banks offer overdraft protection for a monthly fee. In some cases the bank will not cover the overdraft and will notify the recipient who can then charge a fee or proceed with collection.

Any time you pay a fee or penalty you spending money and getting nothing in return except a bad mark on your credit report. The only way to avoid wasting your money is to be in total control of your funds.

As you make changes in your money management explain to your kids what you’re doing and why. Your experiences will help them understand how important it is to not throw money away on fees and penalties that can be avoided.

Make it a priority to get your finances in control by following these guidelines. If you never pay a late fee, never pay credit card interest and never overdraw your account you will have more money. Guaranteed.

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