Follow these Tips and You’ll Be Better Off in 2017

Contributed by FCFCU

You can resolve, after the mad spending that occurs during the Christmas shopping season, to rein in spending and start the New Year on firm financial footing.     

One way to keep your resolution is to choose to follow a simple “20/80” budget: save and invest 20% of your income, and live on the remaining 80%. This is sound advice, and can lead to a better-managed household, financially speaking. But there’s a better way to divide your take home pay:

        Housing: 35%

        Debt Payoff: 15%

        Transportation: 15%

        Expenses: 25%

        Savings: 10%

The “Expenses” category that makes up 25% of the budget includes items like groceries, cell phones, entertainment, and charitable donations. Your discretionary spending – the unnecessary things you desire, but can live without – are only a part of the 25% of your budget.

What happens when you adopt a budget and stick to it?

You’ll reduce your debt. This year, it will be super smart to pay off credit card balances and any other loans. Pay off sooner and you’ll pay less interest. Any extra amount reduces your debt and makes you stronger financially.

You’ll cut energy consumption. Budget and try to reduce the money you spend on home air conditioning and running your automobile.

Other good suggestions to save money in the New Year:

Use coupons. Sensible, consistent coupon use helps save $100s every month. 2 for 1 restaurant meals, grocery coupons, even car maintenance. Who enjoys using coupons? Nobody! But coupons are like cash and shouldn’t be ignored.

Improve your health. Join a gym, get more active, ride a bike, walk around the block, hike around town or in the mountains. Healthier people eat less, visit the doctor less, and spend less at the pharmacy. It’s a great goal to be healthier – and the financial breaks are a great benefit too!       

Move your money from the big banks. People spend $100s every year just to keep money in a big bank. Monthly fees, high interest rates, and high overdraft fees … it all adds up. Move your money to a local, not-for-profit credit union for checking and savings without monthly fees, tons of no-fee services, thousands of free-free ATMs, low loan rates, and really friendly service.

Be part of something special. Join Fresno County Federal Credit Union and be better off. You’ll get highly personalized service, online and mobile banking, and the essential services you need to manage your finances with ease. For more information about membership in Fresno County Federal Credit Union, visit