Believe it or not, 2018 is almost over and we have a question: Did you stick to your New Year’s resolution this year? Don’t worry, you don’t have to answer. (But if your answer was “no”… Oh, well.) Defaulting on your resolution is a tradition as old as time. As is end-of-the-year financial dread.
We all know the feeling when you’re checking your credit card balance before every Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchase. Spending money is fine as long as it’s all on sale, right? You may have vowed back in January to make 2018 the year of budgeting, but your claim that you’ll “eat out less” was always hollow. And even though you’ve been putting money away each month, you can’t help but look at your bank statement and wonder “Where has it gone?!”
The benefit of 2018 ending is that 2019 will soon be starting and what better time to take control of your finances than at the turn of the calendar. Easier said than done, right? Everybody wants to have more money in their savings account, but knowing where to start in the infinite world of finance can be daunting. To help get you started, we’ve identified 5 trends and strategies that will help you dive in.
1. Stay Mobile
According to a 2018 Kleiner Perkins trends report, adults are spending at least one more hour on mobile devices than laptops and desktop computers. With cell phones and tablets being much more accessible and, well, mobile, it makes sense. So why not make your banking and finances mobile too. Nearly all banks allow you to track your money seamlessly online, and you can set up a number of different mobile alerts for nearly any situation. Check out what’s possible and customize it for your needs.
2. There’s an App for That
It’s not just online banking that’s helped the rise of mobile monetary responsibility. Apps have also helped and can help you tremendously. In addition to the obvious Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Mastercard apps out there, more sophisticated apps are available to help you go from money monitoring to money managing, such as: Wealthfront, Robinhood, Acorns, and E*TRADE. For a more in-depth list, check out Nerdwallet’s “Best apps and tools for 2019“
3. Gamify Your Finances
We get it. Financial responsibility isn’t exciting. It’s not fun to budget and it’s not fun to scale back on spending. But what is fun? Games. Now who’s going to argue with that. Not the finance industry, that’s for sure. And that’s why we’re seeing more and more “gamified” finance apps and tools that turn your money goals into games. Sometimes, you’ll forget you’re even being responsible. Fortune City, Qapital, YNAB are some personal favorites, but check out this list from Kiplinger for more.
4. No Cryptocurrency
The real lesson here is just to be smart with your money. Remember hearing all about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency near the end of 2017? Hailed as the future of currency and investing, it often sounded too good to be true. Well, the bitcoin bubble burst in 2018 and it turns out the whole thing may have been propped up illegally. When it comes to investing, only risk what you can afford to lose. And always do your homework.
5. Wealth Management
Sometimes the best way to manage your money is to have someone else manage it for you. Or at least help you along the way. Independently managing your own situation is great, but not everyone always has that luxury. And not everyone has that type of expertise. Having an expert on your side gives you a different perspective and a helping hand when having to make tough decisions, especially as a military family. Luckily, the experts over at AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust know what it’s like for Military Families and can help you every step of the way with whatever financial situation you may have. Learn more about how they can help you and your Military Family at aafmaa.com/wealth.
It doesn’t matter whether you have $1 or $100,000 in savings, anyone can benefit from learning a few good financial habits. Staying disciplined and sticking to your financial goals can be tough, but with apps and other resources out there, staying on top of things has never been easier. Now you can take care of all your financial needs by yourself right from your phone. Or get an expert on your team to help guide you through all of life’s major financial decision. Or even do a little of both. The choice is yours.
More Ways to Save:
Solutions for Your Military Family:
Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more.