Everyone has things they want to improve about their financial lives — even those of us who are paid to write and think about money on a daily basis. To that end, some of the editors at AOL and Daily Finance have shared their financial goals for 2013. In return, I reached out to some experts for tips that can help these folks – and everyone who has a similar resolution – step-by-step their way toward making these goals reality.
“I want to finally pull the trigger and move my accounts to a credit union,” says Bruce. “Also, I’m going to formally put away 10 percent of every paycheck, rather than just saving all my leftover money at the end of every month.”
Here’s what Jean advises:
Step 1: Have you already landed on a credit union to use? If not, you’ll have to do a little bit of research. Bankrate.coms Greg McBride suggests checking to see if your employer is affiliated with one; if not, he says alumni associations, your community and your family might be a great way to get a good suggestion. If word-of-mouth isn’t your thing, the National Credit Union Administration has a look-up tool that you can access here.
Step 2: Once you’ve decided on a credit union and have opened the new accounts, make sure you change the direct deposit information for all your bills. Just to be safe — and to make sure you haven’t forgotten about a gym membership with a quarterly charge — leave your old account open for at least three months before you completely close it.
Step 3: As for your savings goal, if you’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again, and again: If you want to hit that 10 percent mark every month, automate the savings process. Better yet, head to HR with the account number, routing number and bank info of the account you want to receive this 10 percent. They’ll deduct it right from your paycheck, so you’ll never even see the money (and be tempted to use it).
Read the previous article in the series: Her Financial Goal: Cut Out All Those Small Money Wasters