A new year means a new set of resolutions to make and, if you’re like 80 percent of folks out there, to eventually break. But that doesn’t have to be the case. With the right tools, knowledge, and a little bit of persistence, 2022 could be the year you spend less and save more. 

Today, we’ll look at five common money resolutions and how you can use the FirstBank Money Manager app to help you achieve them. 

1. Spend Less

Retail studies estimate that consumers will have spent $1,464 on average during the holiday season, so it’s no surprise that folks are often looking to spend less money in the new year. But like many things, it’s easier said than done. The first step is knowing your spending habits and adjusting accordingly. Luckily, Money Manager features a Spending Wheel that tracks your purchases for you. Moreover, it organizes your spending by category (transportation, groceries, household, etc.) so you can identify potentially costing spending habits. After pinpointing areas of overspending, make a list of items to cut back on, or if possible, eliminate entirely. 

2. Save More

Done right, spending less will ultimately lead to saving more. However, you can create a budget to double down on your savings in 2022. Again, Money Manager makes this a simple task with its “Budget & Goals” feature. You can create a broad budget for all your spending and even budget by category. Simply choose your goal, such as saving for a new car, and the app will track your progress throughout a set amount of time. The app will display your current progress as well as completed goals. This is not only handy for tracking purposes, but it will give you added motivation to keep going throughout the year. Make sure to celebrate your successes as they come.  

3. Get Out of Debt

If you’re in debt, you’re not alone. A reported 80 percent of Americans have some sort of consumer debt. Getting out of debt is often a marathon, not a sprint, but you can set yourself up for debt-free living with enough time and some self-discipline. The first step is to take stock of your existing accounts. Is most of your debt in credit cards? Perhaps an existing student loan? Whatever the case may be, once you’ve categorized your debt, make a plan to tackle it. Often a good course of action is to target high-interest loans and lines of credit first. Over time, this will lower your interest accrual and create a path to pay down your principal. Because interest accrues based on the principal owed, this will help shrink your interest and help you pay off your loan faster. One way to manage your payments is to automate them. This can help prevent missing payments, and in turn, potential fees. It will also ensure that you’re constantly chipping away at your debt. 

4. Create an Emergency Fund

One of the many lessons learned from the pandemic is the need for an emergency fund. Unexpected expenses can, and often will, come up, and being prepared for them is crucial to making it through unscathed. Some experts advise setting aside enough money for three to six months of expenses, but each case is unique. Use Money Manager to review your essential spending for your chosen period of time and set that as your savings goal. Consider making the most of your allotted savings by putting your money in a high-yield savings account or time deposit. After all, the more you earn on your money, the more you will save overall. Review our easy tips for building an emergency savings account for more information on emergency savings.

5. Prepare for Retirement

Setting yourself up for retirement is a noble goal, no matter your age. Unfortunately, some studies claim that half of Americans are at risk of not having enough retirement savings. Consider making retirement preparation a priority as you evaluate your money resolutions this year. Much like an emergency fund, your goal should be to maximize your savings opportunities whenever possible. In addition to money market savings and consumer time accounts, look for other options and investments that may yield even more. Diversifying your savings spread opens the potential to save more over time.

Moreover, seek out ways to earn free money through 401(K) employee matching and potential stock options. These employer perks are great ways to build a healthy retirement fund over time. Explore your retirement goals and progress using the Money Manager app and adjust accordingly.

How Does Money Manager Work?


Dashboard

The first thing you see when you open Money Manager is the Dashboard. From here, you can look through your accounts, transactions, budgets, and financial goals all in one place. The Spending Wheel allows you to select a timeframe and see all of your transactions organized by category, so you know where and how you are spending your money. This is great for a business owner who wants to keep an eye on travel expenses, for example, or for a family wondering how much their grocery bill has changed since they switched stores.

Accounts and Transactions

From the Dashboard you can navigate to Accounts and Transactions. In these sections you’ll see the current balances for all of your accounts and get details about your posted transactions. Money Manager allows you to customize the names of your accounts and transactions, and to edit the category assigned to each transaction for ease of use. You can also use the “Create a Rule” button to collect similar transactions under one tag, organizing your spending history with a single click.

Budgets and Goals

In the Budgets and Goals sections, you can make custom budgets and set savings goals. Money Manager gives you a visual representation of your spending toward the limit you’ve set for yourself in a given category, so you’ll know how much room you have left and whether you’ve gone over budget. No more surprises! This area of the tool also helps you understand your spending patterns and set goals to save for the important milestones in your life, like buying a car or house, or taking that vacation you’ve been dreaming about.

Cash Flow and Spending

Cash Flow and Spending are a business owner’s best friend, and all your personal finance planning wizards will love them too! Here you can add upcoming income and expenses to your cash flow calendar to help estimate future account balances. The Spending section provides an overview of your spending history, similar to that on the Spending Wheel, but more detailed, and conveniently organized by category.

Simplify your financial future and keep tabs on every cent. Download the FirstBank Mobile App today and find out how good it feels to take control with Money Manager.

Disclosures

Balances and transactions within Money Manager are not displayed in real-time. Real-time balance and transaction information is provided on the Accounts pages within the Online Banking services outside of Money Manager.

Online Banking is required to use Money Manager.  Online Banking is free with eStatements and $3.00 per month with mailed statements

Money Manager is only available in the FirstBank Mobile App.

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