Take Control to Achieve Financial Well-Being
Good financial health doesn’t just happen—you must take an active role to have stability and success. But gaining control of your money isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Here are four simple things you can do:
Follow a budget
You don’t need a complex algorithm from a popular financial website—find a budget that works for your lifestyle. It could be an Excel spreadsheet, allocating cash envelopes to each family member, or just using a pen & paper. America First’s money manager is a free online tool that intuitively tracks, provides a plan to deal with debt, and automatically categorizes your transactions. Plus, you can add any other accounts to see everything in one place.
Monitor your account
It’s important to stay informed about income and your expenditures. You can log in to free online banking every morning and look at your transactions. What’s even more convenient is setting up free account e-alerts to be notified when certain actions happen. Receive an email or text when your balance is low, money with withdrawn, you’ve reached your Visa® credit card limit, a loan payment’s due, when your paycheck arrives & more. Customize the alerts according to your needs.
Speaking of custom notifications, Card Guard® is a free app from America First that adds an extra level of control to your Visa accounts. After registering, you’ll get instant alerts whenever your cards are used and you can limit transactions to certain geographical areas. You can additionally set up threshold amounts so your card will automatically deny purchases for more than you allocated. And if your card is lost or stolen, you can simply turn it off. Using this kind of instant security is essential, as identity theft and cybercrime continue to increase.
Know your credit score
Understanding credit is essential to reach your financial goals. Your score, after all, informs institutions of how much risk they’re taking by offering you a loan. It influences your interest rate, terms, and even if you’ll get financing at all. You can look up your FICO® Score every time you log in to free online banking from America First and it won’t affect your credit. It’s updated quarterly, which means you can always see where your borrowing power stands.
These are just some fundamental things you can do to control your money matters. For more ideas for improving your financial well-being, check out our range of user-friendly products & services at americafirst.com.