Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck: 5 Tips to Improve Your Financial Security
If you’re like most of your peers (unless your peers includes the likes of Kim Kardashian), you can relate to the notion of living paycheck to paycheck. In fact, according to a survey from CareerBuilder, “almost 8 out of 10 American workers say they live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet,” which is an overwhelming majority of today’s population (CBS News).
While it may be comforting to know you’re not alone, we encourage our members and others to be proactive when it comes to how you manage your money, so that you are prepared for those unexpected bills that will inevitably arise.
That’s why, we’ve pulled together our top 5 tips focused on how to better manage your money with the goal to hopefully help you avoid falling into a slippery slope of debt.
How to Manage Your Money: Our Top 5 Tips
Set Up Automatic Bill Pay: “Ugh. I’m so busy!” Sound familiar? Most likely yes, especially if your to-do list seems to be never ending. To help alleviate one more task on your list, try setting up automatic bill pay. For example, a program like OnLine Bill Payerallows users to control the amount of the payment and the designated date that each payment is sent, and schedule payments in advance by instructing Bill Payer to automatically transfer funds from your credit unionaccount on the day you specify.
Enroll in eAlerts: eAlertsare a great way to stay in the know when it comes to managing your money. For example, eAlertsare messages that are sent via email or text to your phone, mobile or desktop device that inform you of important information, like if a direct deposit was received or notification of a low balance in your account. When it comes to your money, knowledge is power, and eAlertsallows you to stay on top of your finances in real-time.
Avoiding Payday Lending: We get it—payday lending options can be very tempting when you’re faced with a large financial burden, i.e. unexpected home repair or a broken down car. And unfortunately, most people who secure a payday loan are often “frantic to fund a particular unexpected expense and do not consider the longer-term consequences of the payday loan” (Bankrate). These long, and short-term, consequences includes things like large fees, high interest rates and quick repayment expectations. As an alternative, especially if you’re stuck in a financial hardship, consider borrowing from a credit union, who will most likely provide more borrower-friendly loan options.
Manage Your Accounts Through Mobile:In 2017, it was estimated that U.S. users spent 5 hours a day on their mobile device, and that time spent in mobile apps has increased 69 percent year-over-year (TechCrunch). Whether you spend 2 hours or 5 hours on your mobile device per day, our recommendation is that you use your time well spent. For example, instead of refreshing your Facebook newsfeed, log in to your account to check your financial status or check your FICO® Score.
Utilize Free Online Tools: The beauty of today’s digital age is that there is a vast amount of information and FREE tools that are at your disposal—all of which can help you better manage your money. For example American Heritage Credit Union offers various free calculatorslike our Debt Consolidation Calculator, Credit Card Payoff Calculator, and Savings Building Calculator—all of which are free and designed to improve your financial security and reduce the uncertainty of living paycheck to paycheck.