Unemployment rates are at a 10-year low. Unfortunately, many Americans still feel unsure about their financial future. Here are some tips to boost your finances in 2019.
1. Boost your emergency fund
Most Americans don’t have enough money in savings to cover an emergency. Try to build an emergency fund that can act as a safety net if anything happens. For example, car breakdowns, medical bills, or job losses could happen.
Automatic withdrawals from your bank account can help to prioritize saving. A good emergency fund has between 3 and 6 months of household income stashed away.
2. Take a look at your retirement plan
After you build an emergency fund, revisit your company-sponsored retirement plan. If your employer offers matching, contribute as much as you can to get the maximum match. Don’t leave free money sitting on the table!
3. Your benefits are better than you think
Many employees say they don’t fully understand all of their benefits. One of the best financial tips we have is to wrap your head around them!
Chat with your HR representative every few months to see which benefits are available. Then get insights into how you can better utilize them.
In many cases, employer benefits are tailored to employee needs. They can get you steep discounts at partner businesses and programs.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts
Nearly all of your bills can be negotiated down to a lower rate. Check with everything from internet service to your homeowners insurance.
Consider creating automatic reminders on your smartphone to follow up with your service providers every few months to seek new discounts. Reducing your bills by just a few dollars a month can make a big difference at the end of the year.
5. Cut back on subscriptions
The next tip to boost your finances is your entertainment budget. The last few years have seen a tremendous rise in the popularity of media and delivery subscriptions.
If you’re currently paying for music services, Netflix, Hulu, and other monthly subscriptions, you may not realize how much is coming out of your bank account every month. Audit your subscriptions to see if you really need everything you’re paying for.
Tip: Some companies, like T-Mobile, have started including services like Netflix into their service plans for free. See if your phone or Internet provider does the same.
6. Start a side-business
Companies like AirBnB and Fiverr have revolutionized the way people can earn extra money on the side. If you have a unique skill or have extra time on your hands, consider finding a way to monetize it to get extra money flowing in. These extra jobs don’t have to turn full-time and can help you pay down debts or invest more into your future.
Whether you’re saving for vacation or planning for the future, there are plenty of options. What are your favorite ways to boost your finances?