As we enter a new year, we all look to make changes in our lives: losing weight and getting fit, finding a new job, saving more money.
Here are three ways to trim costs easily in 2014:
• Save without thinking about it. Have money taken directly out of your paycheck and put into a savings account.
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• Set realistic short- and long-term goals. Get help by visiting your local bank branch or financial adviser. Be honest about your goals and your ability to meet them.
• Use your phone to get smart about saving money. Here are some great apps to consider:
1. Your bank’s app: The major banks all have apps. It’s worth downloading so you can know your balance at a touch of the screen and set up alerts for balance updates.
2. Mint.com: One of the best apps to track and categorize spending. You can even download that info into an Excel file. The app lets you share your information with others, making it a great way to communicate with your spouse or to track your teen’s spending.
3. USA Today Portfolio Tracker: Follow all your investments on your phone. Get closing stock prices emailed at the end of each business day.
4. SavedPlus: Every time you make a purchase, you can allocate a designated percentage into your savings account. For example, let’s say you designate 5 percent. When you make a $75 purchase, $1.50 is automatically transferred. This small addition will quickly fatten your savings account.