December 28, 2020

New Year’s Financial Resolutions: What to Toss, Keep, and Add in 2021

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After 2020, we’ve never been more excited to say, “out with the old, and in with the new!” It’s been one doozy of a year, and we’re ready for 2021. But entering the new year doesn’t mean we just forget everything we’ve learned from the past year. Here’s a few tips on what to toss, what to keep, and what to add as we head in 2021:

Toss from 2020: Waiting to get paid out 

Waiting for your paycheck can mean the difference between a bill paid on time and a late fee. Luckily, it’s never been easier to get access to the pay you’ve already earned. With tools like Branch, you can skip the wait by adding your direct deposit to get a portion of your earned wages ahead of payday or your whole paycheck up to two days early. Plus, we’ve partnered with workplaces to get your tips, mileage, and other reimbursements paid out digitally and instantly. Getting access to the pay you need, when you need it, can help you meet those timely expenses and save on unnecessary fees. 

Keep from 2020: Contactless payments and fee-free services

2020 was the time to get on the contactless payments train 📲🚆. While direct deposit, Apple Pay, and Google Pay have all been around for a while, it wasn’t until this year we’ve seen how much more convenient it was not having to deal with paper-based transactions. Adding your direct deposit offers a number of great benefits, including a safer, easier way to get your pay without having to worry about when and how you can cash or deposit your paycheck. By adding Apple Pay or Google Pay to your wallet, you can avoid interacting with any pin pads or card swipes. Plus, you can do all of this for free. Because Branch doesn’t charge for overdraft or maintenance fees or for accessing instant pay from the Branch Wallet, you’ve put more money back in your pocket. Keep up the fee-free lifestyle when we head in 2021. 

Add to 2021: New budget and goals

A new year is the perfect time to set your sights on a new budget. Before the year is up, take stock of your spending and identify any problem areas. Is there a category you tend to overspend in each month, like takeout or streaming subscriptions? Is there a bill that always sneaks up on you and causes you to overdraft? Try to get a realistic picture of what you’re actually spending each month and how it’s affecting you.

Next, look for solutions: Are there ways you can cut costs in the categories you tend to overspend in? Are there ways you can automate more monthly payments so you don’t have to think twice about paying them? With Branch, you can also set up alerts that notify you when upcoming bills are due, so you don’t get caught off guard. Our budgeting feature offers you a quick, at-a-glance view of your spending habits so you can make any necessary changes in order to feel more financially stable. 

Making better money moves doesn’t always have to mean making big, overwhelming changes. Sometimes it’s as simple as looking at what habits are working and which ones aren’t. Now is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and make a few simple adjustments. With a few small changes, you can start 2021 off on a better financial foot. 

Read next: How to Build an Emergency Savings Fund (On a Budget)

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