April 19, 2021
Tagged As: Personal
April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to learn more about money and how you can make the most out of your financial situation. And there’s no better way to become more financially literate than to take a close look at your own finances and chart a path toward improving them. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that can help you develop your money skills and improve your financial literacy.
How much are you spending?
For many people, spending money isn’t something they think twice about. If you don’t check your bank account or credit card statements each month, for example, you may never know how much of your money goes to things like food, shopping, and other incidental expenses. And if you have multiple bank accounts, it’s easy to forget to check up on them.
There are a number of online applications that can help you track your spending, including Hills Bank Online. Simply sign in to your online banking account on your phone or computer and look under “Financial Tools,” where you’ll find:
Get a view of all your Hills Bank accounts and their balance(s), all in one place.
See a visual representation of your total balance at Hills Bank over time, including all assets and debts owed.
Our smart budgeting system automatically tags spending in a variety of categories, such as clothing, dining out, entertainment, groceries, utilities, travel, and more. By default, it will show you the average amount you spend per month on each of the listed categories once you open the “Budget” tab, but you can adjust the target amounts as you see fit. You can even set amounts to target for things like saving to track your progress towards your goals.
Budget will let you know whether the actual amounts you’re spending in each category is on track with your designated monthly budget – taking guesswork out of the equation.
Of course, to know the amount of money you should target in your budget, you also should know how much you’re currently spending. This tab will help you do just that. View your spending trends over time (broken down by category), and identify areas to reduce your expenditures or increase your saving.
How much are you saving?
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, finding ways to save even 5-10% of your take-home pay can make a huge difference over time. Here are the best ways to start saving to help you build your money over time.
What’s your credit score?
Your credit score is a big deal – it can literally unlock doors for you, whether in a new car or a new place to live. If you haven’t given much thought to your long-term financial picture before, understanding what makes up your credit score and how to improve it could make a big difference in your life.
Do you know how to protect yourself from fraud?
Unfortunately, financial fraud is much more common than you might realize. The Federal Trade Commission – which tracks fraud reports across the U.S. – received 2.1 million reports last year from consumers who lost a total of $3.3 billion to fraudsters. That’s almost double the amount of losses reported in 2019!
At Hills Bank, we’re always working to keep our customers’ financial information and accounts safe from fraud. And by knowing what to watch for, you can reduce your likelihood of identity theft, lost funds, and other scams. Here’s what you need to know about fraud.
Are you planning for retirement?
If you’re just finding your financial footing, it might seem strange to think about retirement and your twilight years so far in advance. But it pays to plan early. Thanks to the power of compound interest, the money you put away today can be worth much more in the future. Our Wealth Management team can help you develop a plan to secure your financial well-being in retirement.
Investment products are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, carry no bank guarantee, and may go down in value.
Have questions? Help is here.
Achieving financial literacy is an ongoing process, and it’s natural to have plenty of questions along the way. That's why we're making it easier than ever to get in touch with a dedicated financial expert from wherever you are.
You can get help on hillsbank.com or by logging in to the Hills Bank mobile app. Simply click the “Chat HERE” button for a direct line to a personal banker. Ask them about your budget, your goals, or about the money concerns that keep you up at night. Get help with online banking features or transactions, set a travel notice, and even apply for new accounts and services. No matter what you need, being here for you is what we’re all about.
You can also visit any of our locations or give us a call at 1-800-445-5725 (1-800-HILLSBK).
No matter how you get in touch, we look forward to serving your financial needs!