HOUSTON - One of the top New Year's resolutions is to pay off debt and save more money, whether it's for a home, retirement, or education. That can be hard for so many people financially struggling right now.
A great way to ensure you reach your financial resolutions is to set realistic goals and make cost cutting, debt payments and saving automatic. There are several apps and technology that make it easier.
Financial expert Bobbi Rebell with the Tally app says start by looking for ways to cut spending on things like subscriptions, gym memberships, entertainment or online shopping.
"Maybe eating out less, spending less on new clothing, and so on, and bring those habits foward to 2021 regardless of how the larger situation shakes out," said Rebell.
Other apps, such as Truebill, Trim, Billshark, Clarity Money, and Harvest, will actually negotiate for you to reduce you cell phone, internet, cable, bank fees and other bills. The apps keep a percentage of the money they save you.
The Tally app can help you plan how to pay off debts the fastest, usually paying the highest interest first.
"They will figure out the most efficient way to pay down your debt and if you qualify they can give you a lower interest rate by consolidating your debt so that gives you a leg up without having to do the work yourself," explained Rebell.
Next, set up automated payments for debt, bills, saving accounts, and retirement accounts, that way it happens every month without fail. And set up gradual increases in the contributions to your 401K.
"You could automate that every six months, it goes up by one percentage point. So starting in July you'll be doing five percent of your paycheck, starting next January, you'll be doing six percent," said Rebell.