5 tips to keep your budget on track

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Whether you’re working toward a specific financial goal or simply trying to keep your monthly expenses in check, we can help. We recommend building a budget and thinking about ways you can save throughout the year, month and even the day. To get started, take a look at our helpful budgeting tips and resources below.

  1. Examine your account statements each month
    There’s no better way to see where your money is going than by simply checking your account statements. At the end of every month, go over your expenses – from your utility payments to your grocery bills. You might be surprised by the jolt your daily latte is delivering to your wallet. It's a lot easier to stick to a budget if you're paying attention to your spending.
     
  2. Periodically review your budget
    As your income, lifestyle and spending habits evolve, so should your budget. Every few months, take a look at your budget to see what you need to adjust. If gas prices go up, for example, you may need to reduce spending in another category to account for the change. Similarly, if you get a pay raise, you may benefit by sticking to your current budget and saving the extra income for retirement or an emergency fund.
     
  3. See if you can save with a rewarding credit card
    If you are dedicated to paying off your credit card balance each month, you may save by switching to a rewards credit card, like our NICE Perks® Platinum Visa® Card, our Duck Card or our OSU Beaver Card. These cards allow you to earn points, which are redeemable for gift cards, travel rewards, merchandise and cash back. By redeeming points for cash, you can save on things like groceries and rent. If you're currently carrying a balance on a credit card, you may benefit from the introductory 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on balance transfers with the NICE Visa® Card.*
     
  4. Get in the habit of grocery shopping
    If you’re not careful, dining out can chew up a huge chunk of your monthly budget. A little planning makes it easier to go grocery shopping, and preparing meals at home can save you serious money every month. Try planning out your meals a week at a time and then let your menus guide your grocery cart down the aisles.
     
  5. Consider your goals before you budget
    Base your budget plan on your goals. If you’re saving for a down payment on a home, your budget will look different from someone whose goal is to pay off debt. Considering your goals will help you determine how to structure your spending and saving strategies. Once you're clear about your goals, you’re ready to build a budget.

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If you’d like one-on-one help from an OCCU financial expert, call us at 800.365.1111 or stop by your local branch.

*The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on the NICE Visa Card ranges from 9.24%% APR to 20.24% APR. The 0% introductory APR is valid for 12 billing cycles from the account opening date, for balance transfers completed within 60 days of the account opening date. Rates may vary based on the prime Rate and are current as of 03/01/2016.
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