1.Start An Emergency Savings Fund
Even if you're putting away just $25 a month, it's better than nothing. Everyone should have an emergency savings. However, emergencies do not include those clothes or tech gadgets that are on sale now and may not be later. The fund should be reserved for real emergencies, like a medical accident or losing your job. Open a new account for your emergency fund and then set up an automatic transfer each month from your checking account - it's easy!
2.Stop Getting Charged at the ATM
If you're being charged ATM fees on a regular basis, you need to take a few minutes and figure out what you can do to avoid those fees. There are other options:
- Go online or call your financial institution and find out where free ATMs are near your work and home.
- Use a debit card when making purchases and you can get cash back. Just swipe your card and select how much cash you want. Usually there's a maximum of $100.
- If you find yourself having to continually use an ATM that is not free, could you withdraw more funds at a time so that you go to the ATM less often? For example, instead of going to the ATM three times a week and withdrawing $20 each time, could you go to the ATM once a week and withdraw $60?
3.Discover Your Local Public Library
Go to your local library and borrow books, CDs, and DVDs - for free! And of course you can read the latest magazines and newspapers.
4.Paying for College With Free Money
When you are weighing your options on how to pay for college, it is always best to first consider free money--this includes scholarships and grants. College Scholarships is a good website that gathers available scholarship and grant opportunities for you to view all in one place, along with helpful application tips.
5.Every year the BECU Foundation awards scholarships to high school seniors and college undergrads who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and community. Since 1995 the Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million to over 660 students. To learn more about applying for this scholarship, visit www.becu.org/scholarships.