As the days grow longer and the snow from another Michigan winter begins to melt, we can finally say that spring has arrived. With the newly green trees and restored wildlife, what better time than now to get out of that winter slump and rejuvenate your finances? Spring can be a great time to start fresh with many things — including your savings. Here are a few tips when it comes to saving this spring. Save money each paycheck Although spring has just begun, summer and vacation season will be here before you know it. Start saving for summer projects and vacations now to prevent overspending in the future. You can accomplish this by setting savings goals each week and being sure to stick to them each time you receive a paycheck. To reduce your chances of spending money designated toward saving, try setting up automatic transfers from your paycheck to your savings or sub-savings account. That way, the money gets put away before you can even think about what you could spend it on. You can transfer as much or as little as you please by choosing a percentage of, or a specific amount from your paycheck each pay period. Your savings will grow significantly throughout the year, and you’ll even earn dividends on the money you put away. Open a high-yield savings account or fund an IRA Haven’t decided what to do with your tax return yet? One option is to put the money directly into a savings account. To make the most of your savings, consider opening an insured money management account (IMMA) or a certificate, which both enable you to earn higher dividends on the money you save. You may also want to consider putting your return toward an individual retirement account (IRA). It’s never too early to save for retirement, and you may qualify for a deduction on next year’s taxes. For more information on IRAs and to find out how you can qualify for a deduction, you may visit irs.gov. Save through spring cleaning Another way to save can be as easy as doing some spring cleaning. Going through your closet, garage, etc., will not only help you save space in your home, but it can also help you earn money. Taking your unwanted or unneeded clothing and household items to a consignment store could help you earn extra spending money or cash to put toward your savings goals. You could also try selling items online or in a yard sale to generate more profits. Anything that goes unsold could be donated to local charities or nonprofit organizations, helping them save money on expenses. End-of-season bargains One of the best parts about the change in season is the fact that there are many deals on seasonal products and services. You’re bound to find a plethora of deals on new items, but your best bet is to look for significant price reductions on last season’s goods. Didn’t get that winter coat or snow blower that you wanted at the beginning of the season because it was too expensive? Look around online or in stores now to see if you can find a bargain. Even if you don’t use the item right away, you’ll be glad to have it next year when you need it. Starting fresh with your savings can be the perfect way to kick off the spring. Take advantage of the savings options and resources out there to help accomplish your financial goals. Whether you choose to use online financial resources and calculators, talk with a representative from your financial institution or meet with a financial advisor, you can spring into spring by getting ahead with your finances.
April Clobes is Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for MSU Federal Credit Union in East Lansing. She can be contacted by e-mail or by calling (517) 333-2254.