An Easy Way to Stick with Your Financial New Year's Resolution

by Andrew Schreiber 2. January 2013

2013 New Years ResolutionsThe New Year allows for a fresh start. Many of us celebrate this new beginning by making a New Year’s resolution. I, like most people, make a New Year’s resolution and make a promise to myself to follow through with it indefinitely. However, oftentimes my motivation and desire fizzles out within a couple of weeks and I never look back. Whether your resolution is to exercise more, eat healthier, save money, or quit smoking, we all know how hard it is to stay motivated and follow through with our resolution. Sometimes in order for you to succeed in making a change you need someone or something to hold you accountable.

Financial resolutions can be some of the most complicated and stressful resolutions to make. Whether you resolve to free yourself from debt, buy a new car, save money or spend less, everyone can use a helping hand to accomplish financial goals. One of the most useful tools you can use in creating financial stability is a Personal Finance Manager such as Mariner360. Mariner360 links all of your accounts at all of your financial institutions so you only have to make one stop in order to manage all of your finances. This PFM is a great resource to help hold you accountable and visually see the progress of your goals and budgets.

Mariner360 is simple to use, easily accessible, and free for Online Banking customers. It automatically categorizes your spending which allows you to visually see how much you spend dining out, on a car loan, on your utilities, in gas, etc. each month. With Mariner360, you can also see your monthly cash flow, set up a budget, or set a goal.

So how exactly might you use Mariner360 to help with your financial resolutions? Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Resolution #1: I want to buy a new car by the end of 2013.

If you’re looking to purchase a new car, you have some options. What make and model are you looking for? New or used? What kind of monthly payment you are willing to take on?

Mariner360 can help you narrow down your options to help you set a realistic goal. Let’s say that after doing some research, you decide that you would like $10,000 saved by the end of the year.

Under the “Goals” tab of Mariner360, you can type in your goal and Mariner360 will let you know how much you need to save each month in order to meet your goal:

Setting Up a Goal in Mariner360

 

Viewing Your Goals in Mariner360

According to Mariner360, if you had about $1,500 saved already, you would need to save $701 each month in order to meet your goal. Then you can ask yourself if this seems like something that you can realistically do. If not, figure out how much you feel you are able to put away each month, then think about lowering the down payment or delaying your purchase by a few months.

Resolution #2: I want to limit the amount of money I spend dining out.

This is always a popular New Year’s resolution since it kills two birds with one stone – it helps you eat healthier while spending less money. A great way to stick with this resolution is to set up a budget in Mariner360. Simply navigate to the “Budgets” tab, plug in the amount of money you would like to limit yourself to each month and you’re good to go!

Creating a Budget in Mariner360

You can check back throughout the month to see how you're doing. So, if a friend wants to meet you for lunch, check and see if you have enough left in your budget before agreeing.

Viewing Your Budgets in Mariner360

If your New Year’s resolution is finance related, do yourself a favor and use the services of a Personal Financial Manager like Mariner360. Make it as easy and effortless as possible to follow through and stick with your goals. Your bank accounts will thank you.

Mariner360

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How to Keep Your Wallet Stuffed This Thanksgiving

by Andrew Schreiber 19. November 2012

Thanksgiving on a budgetThanksgiving is a time to spend with the people we love and to give thanks for what we have in our lives. The last thing we want to worry about during this time of year, especially with the gift-giving season around the corner, is the effect Thanksgiving will have on our bank accounts. Here are a few tips that will help us all save some cash and relieve some of the financial stress associated with the holiday season.

Organize a Potluck Dinner

Planning, cooking and entertaining are a lot of stressful tasks for any one individual to take on for a single gathering. So instead of leaving all of the social and financial pressures on yourself, ask each guest to bring a side dish and/or dessert. This gives your guests a great outlet to talk about themselves, which we know so many of us like to do, and their “secret” recipes. The responsibility of feeding a large group of people is enough to keep anybody busy all day in the kitchen, so it only seems natural to spread the workload.

Look Outside for Décor

Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year, and what do you normally associate with Fall? Thanksgiving! So instead of spending extra money on decorations, go outside and gather your décor from your yard or a nearby park. Depending on where you live, you could find an endless supply of pine cones, leaves, and maybe even corn husks right outside your door! This could also be a perfect way to keep your children busy and out of the house. Pinterest is a great resource to use for DIY decoration ideas.

Leftovers

Who likes eating an endless supply of turkey for weeks after Thanksgiving? I know I don’t, but even more, I hate seeing so much food go to waste. So instead of throwing out the leftovers, look up some recipes online that call for your leftover turkey. There are a plethora of delicious turkey recipes that will make the leftovers a little more enjoyable, so you’ll be set for days!

Deviate from the Traditional

Instead of sticking to the traditional Thanksgiving menu every year, don’t be afraid to do something totally different. For example, stay local with your meal. If you’re a Maryland resident, make pit beef sandwiches for dinner, wash it down with Natty Boh and finish it off with a homemade Smith Island Cake or Berger cookies for dessert. If you don’t want to completely stray from tradition, find subtle ways to incorporate the traditional foods. Make turkey burgers, turkey meatballs, or cranberry BBQ sauce.

The holidays have enough pressure and stress associated with them, so don't create more by spending beyond your means. Use some of these budget friendly ideas to alleviate some of the stresses of the holidays and enjoy the season!

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Managing Your Money in Retirement

by Andrew Schreiber 6. November 2012

Money in RetirementYour days of working are over. Now you have to figure out a new financial plan. The nest egg that you have accumulated through your pre-retirement years will determine the type of life you are able to live post-retirement. The more disciplined with saving you have been in your younger years, the more comfortably you should be able to live in your golden years.

If you spent the younger days of your life thinking that you would never make it past 60, yet now 60 has come and gone and you’re still going strong, here are some tips on making the most of your retirement fund.

Rate of Withdrawal

It is very important to determine a safe and conservative rate of withdrawal to ensure that there are adequate funds for your post-retirement years. Determining a safe rate of withdrawal will ensure that you will not run out of money. You must figure out a happy medium between being frugal and living enjoyably. This might require life changes such as home downsizing and reducing or eliminating spending on luxury items and impulse buying.

Asset Allocation

In previous life stages it was important to save and accrue wealth. Now it is time to protect the wealth that you have accumulated throughout your life. This might require reallocating your assets to safer investments. Instead of having high growth investments, it’s now time to invest in more well-established blue chip firms that pay dividends consistently. This will help protect your wealth and guarantee future cash flow.

Continue Working

After retirement, if you are looking for ways to fill your newly gained free time, consider working at a different capacity than before. Working part-time as a consultant or entering a different career path altogether is a great way to fill your time and gain some extra income. This allows you to continue accumulating wealth and live a more comfortable life. It will also keep you physically and mentally active. Finally, if you decide to work, you could be eligible to make use of your employer’s health insurance benefits to further reduce your personal expenses.

With so much newly found free time, it would be easy to go through all of your money in just a short while. Set your new budget and stay on track!

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