Breaking News

A Look at How Small Changes Can Transform Your Finances

Over time, these small changes can turn an individual’s financial ship around, just as a rudder will turn a ship’s course. An individual replacing a $5 latte with homebrewed coffee plays the same role for a long-term financial objective.

One small difference that can make a huge difference is arranging for a portion of cash deposited – be it a refund or a paycheck – to be automatically transferred into savings or investment accounts before it is even spent. By letting money grow from seedlings into an orchard, it can turn a few linty cents into a robust forest.

Automate Savings

Automated savings is arguably the most important financial behaviour we can adopt There are few more important financial behaviours we can adopt than automated savings. By transferring some amount from your checking account to your savings account automatically, you won’t miss the money from your budget altogether, and you don’t have to actually make the effort to do the transfer yourself – it gets invested for you automatically. To see what rates are available in the market these days for savings accounts, visit this page.

Ultimately, savings goals help to put long-term financial growth above short-term reward. They’re hard to achieve, so long-term savings must be automated. Whether you want to start an emergency fund, save for retirement, or grow a side business, those deposits will help you move closer to your goals without you having to think about them every month.

Now that you have your savings on autopilot, don’t forget to double-check your progress from time to time. If you get a raise or your income otherwise changes, consider increasing the amount that you automatically have transferred out.

Negotiate Recurring Bills

Recurring billing is the engine that powers much of what we use, count on and love as consumers, but recurring payments often carry with a need from consumers to plan (set aside funds) and pay attention (to budgets, to learn of the deductions in advance).

A podcast episode by the Financial Feminist, Tori Dunlop, described it this way: ‘Seeing her parents negotiate their recurring bills [regularly as a kid] was something I didn’t even realise I saw, but it’s something I’ve continued.’ This strategy might not be as well-known as the others but it’s an easy win, because recurring expenses are relatively easy to reduce.

However, they can also be particularly fruitful when negotiating a recurring bill. Start by vetting the original price you’re paying against others in the market. Some services have additional $5 or $10 tiers, and you might find the kind of converting-mathematics deal you got on Verizon Wireless actually helps you maximise value. Other recurring costs could be lumped with a big discount when the media hails the service as ‘free’. But with old market conditions and older usage patterns to provide new context, content providers are bound to have areas of depending. To negotiation success with a supplier, arm yourself with careful research and an honest pitch for value. Then make sure you review, note and communicate your new agreement to yourself. If you track all your recurring costs from the start of the year, or at least through the online portals you use or pay for, it’s a simple matter find the outliers and determine if the agreements should be reviewed. Set an anniversary reminder for yourself at the halfway or three-quarter points – just don’t let old patterns dictate and maintain expensive processes. Update your expenses and usage habits year in, and every year out.

Set Up a Budget

It can also be a useful tool to get you to connect your money goals to reality. They don’t have to be seasoned pros. Just create a log of how much money comes in and goes out. whether you use a pen and paper spreadsheet or download your bank information and run it through some of the great budgeting apps, such as EveryDollar or Huntington’s app Heads Up(r).

After you’ve identified the baseline, subtract expenses from income to see what’s left over every month. This will allow you to pinpoint areas where you’re ‘losing money’ by spending more than you make, and also hint at the direction of your next step, which may be to pay down debt or save for a particular purpose.

Remember, life will throw monkey wrenches into your budgeting schedules at times, leading to bills that are due this month but not budgeted, or unexpected expenses that pop up and derail your plans. So, plan to review your budget regularly, and to make adjustments as needed. Huntington’s Heads Up offers alerts to customers that can be triggered when certain activities arise that can alert you if something’s not in order.


Investing can, of course, get you there too – from paying your kids’ tuition bills to building a retirement nest egg. But before you begin to invest, make sure your personal finances are organised. Pay down most of your debt, build an emergency fund, and save up enough for short-term goals.

Whether it’s an investment account, a diversified stock portfolio or real estate, investing will link your savings to future income-generating opportunities. Historically, investments have generally yielded higher returns than insured savings, such as CDs or certificates of deposit.

But you should figure out your risk tolerance Tooltip and time horizon first, so you can be prepared for how much volatility you can stomach. It can also be helpful to work with a trusted adviser who can advise you on money matters and offer a tutorial on investing and how you can do it. And once your money is in the stock market, it can start working for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *