(BPT) - With a fresh start upon us, it's the perfect time to set goals and look forward to the possibilities of a new beginning — especially after 2020. The start of a new year is a great time to review your finances, realign your budget and make big plans for the coming months.
Many people set lofty New Year’s resolutions, but sticking with them isn’t always easy. Here are some common financial resolutions that might be on your list — along with helpful tips on how to keep them.
1. Build an emergency fund
Emergency funds can help you cover unexpected expenses without breaking your budget or taking on extra debt. Aim to put about 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses into a separate savings account with easy access.
2. Create a budget you can stick to
Get all your financial goals on the right track by creating or reevaluating your budget. A detailed budget can help you understand how you’re spending your money and identify areas where you can spend less and save more. Try using digital capabilities to monitor your financial activity. For example, Erica®, Bank of America’s AI-driven virtual financial assistant available within the bank’s mobile app, provides proactive guidance, such as sharing a weekly snapshot of spending patterns or monitoring recurring charges, to help keep your budget on track.
3. Save for the next milestone
Saving money is an important part of reaching financial success, especially when you’re looking forward to that next life step — saving for college, buying a house or welcoming a child, for example. If you’re looking for guidance on tracking and achieving your individual goals, a personalized experience can help. Bank of America Life Plan®, available within the bank’s mobile app and online banking platform, helps to define, prioritize and better understand the steps to take toward achieving your goals.
4. Maximize rewards programs
Plan your usual shopping and spending to take advantage of the many benefits of loyalty rewards programs. For example, with Bank of America’s BankAmeriDeals®, you earn cash back on selected deals through your mobile banking app when you pay with your eligible Bank of America debit or credit card.
5. Boost retirement contributions
It’s never too early to direct more savings toward retirement. If your goal is to increase your retirement fund, focus on contributing to your employer’s plan, meet the employer match and consider opening an IRA to continue to build your nest egg.
6. Save for something fun
Who says financial goals can’t be fun? Whether you’re saving for a vacation, your dream car, or something else, it’s okay to set money aside as long as you have a plan for it. Saving up and purchasing something you want can feel like a real win. To achieve this, calculate the sum you need to save and set aside a specific amount each month. A digital experience such as Life Plan can help you break down your goals into attainable milestones.
Whatever you’re wishing for in 2021, now is the time to make a plan for reaching your goals. Visit bankofamerica.com/lifeplan to learn more.