Building a solid financial foundation: How online tools can help
Monday, 13 January 2020
Developing good money habits early on can help you create a financial foundation you can build on for the rest of your life.
For example, paying your bills on time can protect your credit score, which will matter a lot when you want to buy a home. Using a budget can help you avoid spending too much and getting into debt. And if you start saving for retirement as soon as you can, you could be on your way to comfortable golden years.
But when you're new to dealing with money, missing a payment can be easy, while saving each month can be very hard. And if you've never made a budget before, where do you start?
That's simple: start with your smartphone, computer or tablet. Online tools — which are probably in your online banking or mobile banking app right now — can help you establish good money habits almost effortlessly.
Even if you're not new to personal finances, it's never too late to build good habits, simplify the way you manage money and improve your long-term financial outlook. The financial tools are there — just waiting to be used.
Put yourself on auto-save
So, you just got your paycheck, paid your bills and you have a little leftover. You could put it into a savings account, but going out with friends sounds like a lot more fun, doesn't it?
The key is to put the money into a savings account before you can spend it. And, believe it or not, it's easier than you think.
All you have to do is set up a recurring transfer from your checking to your savings account using mobile or online banking, and you'll save without thinking. Even as little as $25 from each paycheck can add up over time.
By now, most of us are getting alerts on our phones about everything from sports scores to meeting reminders. Guess what? You can do the same with your money.
Even the most basic online or mobile banking platforms should let you set up alerts for when your balance is low, a bill is due, your paycheck is deposited and more. And when you know what's going on with your money — like when it's time to pay a bill — you can avoid mistakes and make better choices.
Build a budget and stick to it
Many personal financial experts consider a budget, simply a monthly spending plan, to be an essential part of good money management. And today, budgets are easier than ever to create thanks to robust digital financial tools.
With these tools, you can customize your expense categories and estimate monthly costs. Then, once your budget is set, it will be updated with your spending information in almost real-time. Color-coded graphs and charts make it easy to see where your money is going, and if you're staying within your budget. When you can quickly and clearly see where your money is going, you can make changes to keep your finances on track.
See your savings grow
Whether you're saving for a vacation, the holidays or for a down payment on a home, you can set up a goal in online and mobile banking and easily see your progress. Being able to see your account balance grow can motivate you to stay on course and even inspire you to bump up your savings to achieve your goal faster.
Pay down debt
It's difficult to pay down debt when you don't know how much you owe. But when you have a clear picture of your debts — all in one place — you can figure out where you need to focus your debt-reduction efforts and monitor your progress. In BBVA's digital banking platforms, you'll also get tips and strategies for chipping away at your debt and hopefully eliminating it altogether.
You don't have to go it alone
Managing money isn't always easy. But you don't have to go it alone. Powerful digital tools are right at your fingertips and can help you access information, automate important banking functions and set you on the path to financial success.
The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.
Links to third party sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement. BBVA USA does not provide, is not responsible for, and does not guarantee the products, services or overall content available at third party sites. These sites may not have the same privacy, security or accessibility standards.
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