Financial Tip of the Week from the Iowa Bankers Association:
Spring has officially arrived! To celebrate the warmer weather and add some money to your pocketbook, here are a few tips to help you save some cash this spring:
1. Make a shopping list – and stick to it. Before you head to the store, make a list of the items you need and only buy the items on your list.
2. Toss the catalogs. Avoid the temptation to spend by recycling catalogs as soon as they arrive in the mail.
3. Pay your bills online. If you're still paying bills by mail, you can save on the cost of stamps by paying your bills online through your local bank. Many banks offer services to make it easy to manage and pay your bills online with the touch of a button. Check with your local banker for more information.
4. Get organized and avoid missed payments. If you've ever missed a payment because your bill was buried in a stack of papers, you're probably paying late fees as well as hurting your credit score. Make a commitment to "spring clean" your bills and financial records. Taking some extra time each month to get organized will pay off when you're able to avoid late payment penalties.
5. Improve your credit score. Over time, a good credit score can save you thousands of dollars in interest charges for credit cards, home loans and car loans. Checking your credit reports, paying your bills on time and reducing the amount of debt you owe are just a few steps you can take to improve your score.
6. Scale back your cable or satellite TV. If you're able to give up expanded cable or satellite television packages, you'll be able to see your bill drop drastically.
7. Install a programmable thermostat. Properly using a programmable thermostat to regulate your home's temperature is one of the easiest ways you can save energy and money.
8. Wash your own car. Automated car washes are convenient, but the costs add up quickly. Instead of heading to the car wash, invest a little money up front to buy the supplies you need to wash your own car. Plus, it's a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather.
9. Subscribe to magazines you read. Subscriptions offer substantial savings compared to buying your favorite magazine from the newsstand. Better yet, stop by your local library each month and read your favorite magazines for free!
10. Commit to a "no-spend weekend." Here's a challenge your whole family can be a part of: break the spending routine and commit to going an entire weekend without spending money. Play board games, watch home movies, have a family barbeque and spend some time enjoying the great outdoors together. You'll be saving money and making memories that will last a lifetime.
These tips are provided by the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA), representing banks and thrifts in the state. The IBA serves it members by providing legislative advocacy, training, regulatory compliance and other services designed to enhance the ability of banks to serve their communities. Learn more at www.iowabankers.com.