A Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing Debt

5 Steps to Reducing Debt

Do you feel like your debt is holding you back in life? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, we’ve got a step by step process for you to start taking control of your debt today!

Step 1: Evaluate your Debt – All of It

The first thing you must do to move forward with a plan to reduce your debt is sit down and take a hard look at your finances and just how much debt you owe. Once you’ve got the details down, evaluate where your debts lie and understand that not all debt is alike. Some of your debt may be causing more of a financial strain than others, like credit cards with high-interest rates, so taking time to dig into your debt and prioritize what needs to be paid off first will help you to gain some control of your financial strains and begin your journey to debt-free living.

Step 2: Understand your Bills and your Budget

Have you done the math? If not, step #2 of your debt reduction plan involves evaluating your income each month along with how much you are spending. This is a great time as well to truly gauge your expenses and figure out where you are being frivolous. If your income does not outweigh your expenses, it may be time to consider asking for a raise at work, taking on a second job, or, adjusting your lifestyle to live below your means in order to focus on paying off your debt.

Step 3: Set Timely and Attainable Goals

While we’d all love to have our debts paid off immediately, setting unattainable goals to have everything paid off as quickly as possible can leave you feeling drained and like living debt-free is next to impossible. After you’ve taken time to evaluate your debts, your income, and your spending, design a plan that works for you to help get you out of debt.

Step 4: Make a Plan to Achieve Them

Now that you have a plan, how will you put it into place? Whether it be that you begin setting up auto payments or you choose to completely alter your lifestyle to cut out unnecessary spending, putting daily practices in place to help you achieve your financial goals is crucial. If this step feels like the hardest of all, remember that this is only temporary and is necessary to help bring you to financial freedom.

Step 5: Seek Advice from a Mentor or Financial Professional

If you’re still struggling with debt and financial woes and it seems like any plan you put in place isn’t working out, don’t be afraid to speak to a personal mentor or financial professional. Seeking advice from an expert and having a peer or mentor periodically check in with you on where you’re at with your goals can be an effective route to help you become debt-free.

If you’d like to speak to one of our financial professionals regarding your situation, click here to contact your local Inlanta officer today!

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2017

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2017

2017 was an eventful year at Inlanta Mortgage. We accomplished a lot thanks to the amazing employees we have on our team, as well as our valued customers and business partners. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the last year. While we look forward to all of the exciting things 2018 has in store for us, we’d like to take a moment to count our many blessings and reflect on our accomplishments from this last year:

 

Awards

In May 2017, Inlanta Mortgage was proud to be named a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. In the same month, Inlanta was also recognized as a 2016 Platinum U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Million Dollar Lender. Inlanta closed out the year being named the #1 WHEDA Lender for the second year in a row and was named the #1 Wisconsin Based Independent Mortgage Banker closing the highest number of (loans) units in the state of Wisconsin.

Several individuals were recognized for their achievements as well. Nicholas DelTorto (President/CEO) was awarded for his service as the Chair of Residential Loan Production Committee by the Mortgage Bankers Association and Cindy Laffey (branch partner in Overland Park, KS), Jim Snyder (branch manager in Pewaukee, WI), Rob Stettler (branch partner in Sarasota, FL), and Yvette Clermont (branch partner in Lakewood Ranch, FL, and Green Bay, WI) were recognized as Mortgage Executive Magazine’s Top 1% Mortgage Originators in America.

Cindy and Yvette were also recognized as MPA’s Elite Women in Mortgage alongside Jean Badciong (Chief Compliance Officer) and Katrina Cole (Business Development and Marketing in Grand Rapids, MI). Last, we had 3 members of our team recognized at the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association’s (WMBA) Best in Business Awards. Inlanta’s Production Services Manager, Rod Weis, was nominated as Best in Leadership for the Milwaukee Chapter, Branch Manager/Senior Mortgage Consultant for Inlanta Mortgage – Greenfield, Kip Warzon, was nominated as Best Loan Originator for the Milwaukee Chapter, and Inlanta Mortgage – Green Bay Processor, Samantha Gates, was nominated for Best in Processing for the Northeast Chapter. Congratulations again to all of our superstars!

 

Growth

2017 was certainly a year of growth for Team Inlanta. The company welcomed three new Regional Vice Presidents; Brain Jensen, David Williams, and Kevin Laffey, along with a National Training Manager, Jennifer Jensen aboard. Inlanta expanded into 5 new states and added 12 new branches as well.

Inlanta also invested in evolving technology strategies by embracing the #1 ranked LOS System by the STRATMOR Group, rolling out a brand new mobile app called IM home, implementing a new video series, and starting a preliminary apprenticeship program.

 

Community & Events

This past year, we enjoyed showcasing our new Home Office in Pewaukee, WI, to business partners, friends, and fellow members of the Inlanta family with an Inlanta Open House and ribbon cutting ceremony this past July. Several members of our Inlanta family were present at events in local communities including an Hablamos Espanol expo in Illinois and the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA) conference in Atlanta. Inlanta celebrated another great year of success at our Annual Sales Conference in Sheboygan, WI featuring an awards ceremony, top producers panel, motivational speakers, and more! Another highlight of the event included the presentation of the Customer Service Superstar Awards presented by Craig Pollack from Social Survey. Congratulations to Craig March, Dee Cayo, Yvette Clermont, Herb Lessmiller, and Jason Kupka for having the top customer satisfaction ratings in the company.

 

Philanthropy

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, we are always looking for ways to give back to our community. In honor of the many friends and colleagues who have cancer, have lost their battle to cancer, or know someone with cancer, we have made it our philanthropic mission to help find a cure. In July, a group of Inlanta employees participated in the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer in Milwaukee. The group asked fellow Inlanta employees, family, and friends to donate to the cause and raised a total of $1,500. They then spent the day at the Henry Maier Festival Park to participate in the Walk/Run. At our Inlanta Annual Sales Conference, our team also raised a whopping $24,541 for the Cancer Research Institute through raffle & silent auction! To learn more about the Cancer Research Institute, please visit www.cancerresearch.org.

In May, we had the privilege of meeting Bryon Reisch and hearing his incredible story at our Annual Managers Summit.  Inspired by his story, our employees donated $1,700 to the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, which matched & exceeded our company’s original donation of $1,500! In total, we’ve raised $3,200 to help find a cure for paralysis!

Inlanta held two blood drive for the American Red Cross in 2017, giving the employees a chance to come together at our Inlanta Home Office to save a total of 179 lives. Thank you to our donors!

In September, we held a raffle as part of our 13th Annual Sales Conference. We raised a whopping $24,541 for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), an organization that provides funding for lifesaving immunotherapy research. This was the third year we raised money for CRI and we look forward to continuing our work with them.

Further, we wanted to help local families in need during the holidays. Our corporate office and Pewaukee branch participated in Inlanta’s second annual food drive competition. Each team competed to bring in the most food items to become the competition victors. The winning team, our Underwriting department, donated 606 items! In total, we collected 2,984 food items for the Pewaukee Food Pantry.

As the holiday season approached, we were grateful for the chance to give back to our Pewaukee community by participating in a “Tree of Giving” for local senior citizens from the United Community Center. Our Pewaukee branch also participated in a holiday gift drive supporting 21 children in need this year.

 

We are grateful beyond measure for another successful year in 2017 and look forward to a bright future in 2018, which marks 25 years of excellence for Inlanta Mortgage, Inc.!

8 Tips to Build and Maintain Healthy Credit

Building and maintaining healthy credit is important for a number of reasons. A good credit score can help you achieve some of your biggest financial dreams, like owning a home or even starting your own business.

If your current credit history isn’t flawless and the dream of a perfect credit score sounds as just that—a dream—don’t fret. There are plenty of steps you can take to begin building solid credit as well as strategies you can put in place to maintain that healthy credit.

Here are our top tips to help you build and maintain a healthy credit score:

  1. Swipe Responsibly

If you’re working on building solid credit, a good rule of thumb is to only borrow what you can actually afford to pay back. This means, only use your credit card if you have enough available in your bank account to pay the balance off right away. Avoid falling into credit debt by leaving your credit card at home if you’re heading out shopping or somewhere that may tempt you to spend.

  1. Stay Below your Limit

Experts suggest keeping your credit spending at about 30% of your maximum balance is best. Maxing out your credit cards regularly shows financial irresponsibility and can leave you stuck in debt for longer than you’d like.

  1. Start Small

If you are just starting to build your credit, the last thing you will want to do is open a number of new cards, creating additional debt to keep track of. Begin with just one credit card to use overtime and talk to a financial advisor when you feel you are in the right place to open a new account.

  1. Pay your Balance in Full

If you are starting to build credit outright, then the best way to begin is by charging small amounts on your card that leaves you with a balance far below your credit limit. This should make it easy for you to pay off the balance, in full, each month which will help to improve your credit.

  1. Never Miss a Payment

Missed credit card payments not only leave you behind in debt but also show to lenders that you have a track record of being financially irresponsible. It also suggests that you struggle to make necessary payments on time. This can greatly affect your future when it comes to, for example, wanting to purchase a home. When you begin the home purchasing process, a lender will review your credit score and credit history to ensure you are a viable candidate who will pay the loan off. They will then take this information to determine whether or not you will be approved for the loan. You are more likely to be approved if you have a healthy credit history and a higher credit score.

  1. Pay More than your Minimum

If you have had a credit card for some time now, you are likely to already have a balance on your card. Having a balance on your credit card is not necessarily a bad thing, though; making on-time, consistent payments every month will help you continue to build your credit. However, if you are unable to pay the balance in full, you will want to make sure you are paying more than the minimum payment due each month to help pay off your balance as quickly as possible. Not only will paying off debt sooner help your credit, you also won’t have to worry about pesky interest payments.

  1. Build a History

If you’ve just opened a new card, plan to keep it long-term to help you display a solid history of creditworthiness. Lenders appreciate at least a few years of experience in maintaining timely payments and the longer you keep your card, the more likely your credit score will increase.

  1. Regularly Review your Account History

What exactly are you spending money on? If you’re swiping your credit card every time you grab a latte in the morning, you likely aren’t using your credit wisely. Designate your credit card for emergencies or basic needs such as groceries and gas to help get you into good spending habits and avoid unnecessary shopping sprees. Also, keep an eye out for any types of fraudulent purchases; if you notice anything strange, notify your credit card company immediately to save yourself from financial distress.

 

Inlanta Named #1 WI Based Independent Mortgage Banker

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. has been named the #1 Wisconsin-based independent mortgage banker in Wisconsin!

Inlanta Mortgage has proudly served Wisconsin residents for the past 25 years. Their dedication to Wisconsin families shows in the 2016 data collected through the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Of all Wisconsin-based, independent mortgage bankers, Inlanta closed the highest number of loans (units) in the state of Wisconsin.

Inlanta received this news as they begin prepping for 2018, which marks their 25th anniversary of providing Loans for Your Dreams®.

“We planted our roots here in Wisconsin 25 years ago and have no plans of relocating our headquarters. One of the reasons Wisconsin homeowners trust Inlanta Mortgage with their home financing needs is because they know we are a locally-owned and operated company,” said Chris Knowlton, chief information officer of Inlanta Mortgage.

Knowlton continued, “As an independent mortgage banker, we offer a larger variety of loan options than most banks and credit unions while also offering competitive financing terms. We also manage the loan process from start to finish in-house. So, from the time you meet with your local loan officer to the time you close on your mortgage, your loan file is only managed by our team of mortgage professionals right here at our home office in Pewaukee.”

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Pewaukee, WI, Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to over 40 branches in 20 states and over 250 employees. Inlanta Mortgage’s mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Their team of dedicated mortgage professionals is committed to delivering an exceptional experience using honest and ethical lending practices.

Inlanta Mortgage was named a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplace in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Inlanta has been consistently recognized as one of the “50 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by Mortgage Executive Magazine and one of the country’s “Top Mortgage Employers” by National Mortgage Professional.

Inlanta Mortgage continually seeks branch managers and loan officers who want to grow their business. To learn about growth opportunities, please contact David Williams (Colorado and Texas) at davidwilliams@inlanta.com or 303-947-1960; Brian Jensen (Midwest) at brianjensen@inlanta.com or 630-927-0380; or Kevin Laffey (Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa) at kevinlaffey@inlanta.com or 913-645-4647. To learn about opportunities in other locations, visit www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

For full press release, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/01/prweb15054811.htm today 

 

Make These Resolutions to Become Financially Strong in 2018

Financial Resolutions for 2018

If 2017 wasn’t your year financially, don’t fret. We’ve got 8 financial resolutions ready for you to put in place to ensure you become strong in your finances in the new year.

  1. Make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely

The first step in setting financial resolutions for the new year is to take some time to sit and define what you hope to achieve financially in 2018. Rather than creating a vague, unmeasurable goal like, “I want to be debt free by 2019,” make your goal SMART. If you’d like to pay off your credit card, for example, you can declare, “I want to pay down my Visa card to $0 by January 1, 2019, and will contribute X amount from each paycheck every month to do so.”

  1. Prioritize Any Debt You Have

If you’re like most people, you are entering a new year while still bound to old debt. It is important to understand, though, that not all debt is alike. Some of your debt may be causing more of a financial strain than others, like credit cards with high-interest rates, so taking time to dig into your debt and prioritize what needs to be paid off first will help you to gain some control of your financial strains in the new year.

  1. Calculate your Income vs. Expenses

Have you done the math? If not, now is the time to sit down and evaluate your income each month along with how much you are spending. This is a great time as well to gauge your expenses and figure out where you are being frivolous. If your income does not outweigh your expenses, it may be time to consider asking for a raise at work, taking on a second job, or adjusting your lifestyle to live below your means.

  1. Make a Commitment to Pay Yourself First

What is the first thing you currently do when payday rolls around? Are you paying yourself first and foremost and investing in your own future? If not, this is truly an important goal to set for 2018.  Having a financial cushion set aside for emergencies or unexpected expenses can help save you from financial distress. Start by opening a new savings account at your bank and set aside money each month to help build your rainy-day fund.

  1. Invest in your Future with 401k

Do something your future self will thank you for. While investing in a retirement fund may not be the most exciting way to spend your hard-earned paycheck, it is crucial to ensure your future is secure. Think of it as very delayed gratification.

  1. Keep your Credit Healthy

Just as you are likely focusing on building healthy habits for yourself in the new year, building healthy credit habits is important too. Having solid credit can help you to achieve some of your biggest financial dreams – like owning a home of your very own! That is why it is important to build credit and maintain healthy habits early on like making ALL of your payments on time, keeping your balance low, and checking your credit score often to ensure you are staying on track. If you’d like more tips on how to build and maintain healthy credit, contact your local Inlanta Mortgage financial expert to discuss your situation today.

  1. Turn on Auto Payments

If you haven’t done so already and are struggling to save money, setting up auto payments that automatically transfer money from your paycheck to your savings account can help you build your savings. This may look like your account is taking a hit at first, but soon, you will adjust and be glad you did it.

  1. Follow the 50/20/30 Rule

Have you heard of the 50/20/30 rule? If not, there’s no better time like the new year to start a new tradition! The 50/20/30 rule involves using 50% of your income for “essential living” (this means paying your rent, utilities, groceries, car insurance, phone, credit card, etc.), 20% goes to financial goals (savings, retirement, investments, etc.), and finally, 30% goes to your personal spending (yes, you still get to have a life!). To learn more about this method and how to put it to good use, check out this article from The Penny Hoarder today.

 

Helpful Hacks to Stretch Your Holiday Budget

While the holiday season is a joyous time of year full of laughter, love, and cheer, it can also be a time full of stress and financial despair. According to a study completed by the American Research Group, Inc., the average American is expected to spend over $900 on gifts for family, friends, and loved ones this holiday season alone. If you don’t have $900 already set aside for gifts this season, you’re not alone. That’s why we’re bringing you some great ways to stretch your holiday budget and save you from financial distress.

Hacks to stretch your holiday budget:

  1. Make a Plan: First things first – sit down and take a hard look at your finances, how many people you’d like to purchase gifts for, and what your budget will allow. Making and pricing out a list will also help you to stay on track and on budget.
  2. Do your Research: Have your eye on a specific gift for someone? Don’t jump on the first deal that comes your way. Try comparison shopping online or download a digital coupon app like RetailMeNot for deals and discount codes.
  3. Sign up for Email Alerts: If you’ve got several favorite stores, make sure you sign up for email alerts to receive news and information on sales and discount offers.
  4. Pay with Cash: While it’s tempting to charge up your credit card for gifts you think your family and friends will really love, setting a strict budget and taking out the exact amount of cash you plan to spend will help you to avoid that post-holiday debt.
  5. Take Advantage of Credit Promotions: While we do encourage you to use cash to stay on budget, it may be smart to check into your credit card company incentives and promotions to see if they offer cash rewards or points that will help you earn more. If you do decide to go this route, please remember to use credit responsibly
  6. DIY: It’s truly the thought that counts, so why not channel your creativity to make your own, personalized gifts for your loved ones? With the robust internet today, you should have no problem finding a number of ideas. Try checking out Pinterest to get you started.
  7. Set a Limit: There’s no harm in proposing a monetary limit with family and friends to help you stretch your budget on gifts this year. It is likely that they are in the same boat as you are and will welcome the gift limit idea.

So, leave the stress behind this season and use these handy tips to help you stretch your holiday budget.

5 Great Ways to Give Back to Your Community

5 Great Ways to Give Back to Your Community

The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, are a time for us to pause and reflect on all of the good fortune life has bestowed upon us. We all have something we can be grateful for, and what better way to express our gratitude than to pay it forward to our communities. We’ve compiled 5 ways you can give back to your community.

  • Shop Local

Planning a shopping trip? Rather than buying your shopping at a big box store, support your local businesses and your community by taking your holiday shopping lists to your favorite local shops. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Small Business Saturday, commemorates the annual shopping tradition made to support small businesses and celebrate communities everywhere. So, grab a friend or family member this Saturday and enjoy!

  • Become A Sponsor

Whether you have a student-athlete in your home or not, chances are you know someone who does. One great way to give back to your community that involves very little time and investment is to become a sponsor for a local sports team. Are the Arts more your scene? Sponsor your high school or community theatre’s upcoming production. Whatever you are passionate about, there are local organizations and events that need your financial support.

  • Volunteer

Volunteering in your local community is a great way to give back and feel great. While time and a little internet research will likely give you a variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from, you can narrow down your options by selecting a prospect that involves offering up your own set of skills, or, choose an organization that supports a specific cause you care about.

  • Get to Work

Help build a better community by rolling up your sleeves and putting yourself to work! If you are physically able, why not offer your time and energy to get involved in construction projects within your community. Try getting your hands dirty in a community garden, grabbing a hard hat to help build a home, or channeling your inner artist to help paint a mural.

  • Talk to Your Employer

Employee volunteerism is important to a lot of companies and organizations, so consider contacting your own HR department to find out ways your employer is involved with giving back to your local community. Some employers even offer incentives for giving back and volunteering on your own time.

 

 

Our Favorite Ways to Give Back

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, serving others and giving back to our local community is very important to us. In fact, Inlanta contributes to our communities year-round! Some of our favorite philanthropic charities that we give back to include the Cancer Research Institute, the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer, the American Red Cross, the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, the United Performing Arts Fund, the local Pewaukee Food Pantry, and more.

Inlanta just recently wrapped up our 2017 Hunger Games food drive to help support our local food pantry, collecting 2,984 items total to help fight hunger and feed our community! Inlanta is also planning to hold our second blood drive for the American Red Cross this December and is looking forward to planning other various philanthropic initiatives in 2018.

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving

How to Host a Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving

It’s the season of giving. So, why are we spending so much? If you’ve signed up to host Turkey Day this year for your family and friends, here are some ways to save you from financial distress while planning the perfect holiday get-together.

  1. Crunch the Numbers

Take a minute to sit down and plan out how many people you can comfortably accommodate in your home as well as how many people you can afford to invite. This will help you determine the size of your party and how much food and drinks you will need to serve.

  1. Plan Ahead

Now that you’ve got the numbers down, it’s time to plan your budget and your shopping list. Remember that Thanksgiving is a time to gather and enjoy a feast with those you love, so have some fun planning the menu and don’t forget to take into consideration your guests’ dietary needs and restrictions.

  1. Divvy Out Dishes

Just because you are hosting the event doesn’t mean you can’t ask your guests to bring a bottle of wine, extra dessert, or side option. With you taking on the hosting duties and responsibilities, your friends will likely prefer not to show up empty handed and will be more than happy to help you out.

  1. Shop Early

There’s no need to stress yourself out even more by rushing to the store the night before the big event. Plan ahead and shop early, picking up items you need as you go along. This will help you avoid an overflowing shopping cart, an extra-long grocery receipt, and a hefty credit card charge. Don’t forget to check for coupons online or in store as well when doing your shopping.

  1. Save on Decorating

While seasonal home decor always adds a nice touch, it is important to remember that you can still fill your house with holiday cheer without breaking the bank. Check out Pinterest for these awesome DIY Thanksgiving decorating ideas or head to your local dollar store for inexpensive party extras.

  1. Turn Down the Heat

With the heat of the oven and baked dishes, along with all the extra guests hustling and bustling around your kitchen, you can opt to save a little extra on your heating bill this month by turning down your thermostat.

  1. Remember the Reason

In the chaos of it all, take time to remember the reason why we celebrate and appreciate the love that is shared amongst family and friends this time of year. No matter how extravagant your event turns out to be, there is greater importance in gathering together than there is in spending your savings on dinner.

Looking for more ways to save this season? Check out these 50 Ways to Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner. From all of us at Inlanta Mortgage, we want to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and joyful holiday season!

Save Yourself from Overspending This Holiday Season with These Tips & Tricks!

We’ve all done it. Waited until last minute to do our holiday shopping only to overspend on gifts for loved ones, leaving us with extra credit card debt and buyers remorse. While the holidays prove time and again to be an expensive time of year for many, they don’t have to be. Here are some tips to help keep you from overspending this holiday season.

  • Set a Budget – and Stick to It.

It is always best to begin with a budget. Once you have your budget set, take the time to contemplate how you will best utilize that budget amount to get all of your holiday shopping done efficiently and wisely. Avoid going over budget – even just a little – as this can lead to falling into the trap of overspending.

  • Shop Year Around

Did you know that you can buy holiday gifts for family and friends year around? Most of us often forget this fact and like to put off our holiday shopping until the last minute when the malls are extra hectic and the clock is ticking. While this stressful strategy may work for some, finding and purchasing gifts year around can help you avoid the extra spending as well as the chaos of the holiday season. Just remember to stick to your budget!

  • Get Crafty.

They say that it’s the thought that counts, so why not get crafty and create a homemade present for someone you love? If you find you’re not the crafty type, enlist the help of a friend who is, or offer to do a favor. We recommend checking out Pinterest for some great DIY ideas your friends and family are sure to love!

  • Look for Deals

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s important to look for the best deals on gift items before doing your shopping. There are typically deals happening everywhere, so take some time to sit down with your phone, tablet, or computer to research the best deals for the items you need. When shopping in store, try an app like Retail Me Not for any coupons or extra store savings.

  • Watch Your Calendar

While it’s tempting to attend every holiday party or gathering that you’ve been invited to, you must remember that these events are typically costly. Save a little extra this year by skipping one or two parties or holiday dinners. Your wallet will thank you for it!

  • Plan Ahead for Travel

Do you travel somewhere for the holiday season? Plan ahead to figure out what is best financially for you and your travel companions to avoid the high holiday rates and travel prices. You may also want to weigh and measure your luggage ahead of time to avoid extra fees and skip the upgrades this time as well.

  • Keep Track for Next Year

Regardless of what your holiday shopping strategy may be, it is important to reflect on what you spent in total to help you plan better for next year’s festivities. If you find yourself overspending, look to what caused this and how you can fix your budget to help keep you on track next time. Once you have a total that you are happy with, you may want to open an extra savings account to set money aside all year. This will help keep you on track as well as save you from overspending.

Help Build Your Savings Account with These Simple Tips

Setting aside money each month for your savings account can often feel like a daunting and sometimes impossible commitment. Perhaps you’d like to buy a home someday or purchase a new car. Maybe, you’ve got a serious case of wanderlust and are wanting to travel the world. Either way, achieving these dreams often requires diligent planning – specifically financially.

If you constantly feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck without saving a pretty penny, don’t fret. We’ve got some simple solutions for you to help boost your savings and get you one step closer to achieving your dreams.

  1. Set Up Direct Deposit: A good rule of thumb when it comes to savings is to set it and forget it. It may seem like an obvious tip but is often overlooked. If you already have a savings account, decide on a feasible amount to add to it directly each pay period. You may notice a difference at first, but soon enough, it will become the norm and you will have started building a nice little nest egg.
  2. Unplug and Turn Off: Do you often leave your TV on all night or come home from work to find your coffee pot still on? It may not seem like it, but simply leaving a light on or electronics plugged in can substantially increase your electric bill each month. Try diligently to ensure you turn the lights off when you leave a room and unplug electronics that are not in use to save extra on bills.
  3. Sell Your Stuff: It is likely that you have extra “stuff” lying around. That is, shoes and clothing items you no longer wear, old electronics you don’t use, furniture you don’t need, books you’ve already read, etc. Why not try to sell your useless items online or have a yard sale to add some extra cash to your savings account? This will also help you declutter your space as an added bonus.
  4. Brown Bag It: Do you go out to lunch regularly? Do you make a Starbucks run every morning on the way to work? While we all enjoy a pumpkin spice latté every now and then, spending money on fast food and coffee daily can take quite the hit on your paycheck. Perhaps it’s time to start bringing your lunch and coffee from home or setting some rules regarding how many lunch outings you can really afford each week.

While these may seem like small adjustments to make, over time, it can make a big difference in your savings account. Looking for more tips and tricks on ways to save? Check out this list of 100 Ways to Save Money from Nerd Wallet!

If you’d like additional tips on saving for a down payment or if you are interested in learning more about mortgage loan options for you, please contact one of our loan officers today. We’d love to help you achieve your dreams of homeownership!