Maximizing your paycheck throughout your 30s and 40s is a priority during this season of life when income usually increases. You may find you have more freedom with your money for travel and hobbies; the challenge is to find the right balance between saving and spending. Financial decisions you make during this time of life will have the biggest impact on the lifestyle you enjoy in retirement.
  1. Establish a household budget – and stick to it!

    With a household budget, you can control how your money is spent, rather than it controlling you. Establish a monthly budget that includes all of your current monthly household expenses. Assign each item a dollar amount for each line item and categorize expenses into similar buckets. The way to make your budget work for you is to be as detailed as possible by including everything you spend and stay within the budgeted amounts you allocate. Use Clarity, our free Personal Financial Manager within online banking, to help you track your budget automatically!

  2. Pay yourself first.

    With so many demands for your attention – and finances – during this season of life, one of the best strategies is to pay yourself first. Automatically setting aside a portion of your income for savings and retirement on a consistent basis will ensure a bright financial future.

    Kasasa Saver – automatic savings account.

  3. Open a checking account for this season of life.

    Save on time, money and paper with a Farmers Bank & Trust checking account. We offer online and mobile banking that simplifies banking when you’re on-the-go. Our personal checking accounts offer NetTeller Online Banking and NetTeller Bill Pay at no additional charge.

    Kasasa Checking – Earn up to 2.01% APY interest or 5% Cash Back, ATM fees refund and unlimited check writing
    Farmers Checking – No-fee ($4 with paper statements) and no minimum balance checking with added features.
    Club Checking – Unlimited check writing with a multitude of benefits for a low monthly fee.

  4. Make a plan to eliminate debt.

    One of the best ways to build wealth is to eliminate unnecessary debt. Use Clarity to track your debts and calculate your payoffs. Take time to list all your debts, in order from the smallest balance to the largest. Aggressively pay down the smallest balance while you pay the minimum balance on the largest debt balance. This plan allows you to pay off smaller balances first and check them off your list before moving onto the next until you are eventually debt-free.

    Borrowing for a home usually makes a lot of sense because it’s an automatic savings plan. However, based on your current principal and interest rate, it may make more sense to refinance.

  5. Save for retirement.

    It’s easy to underestimate the amount of money you’ll need in retirement. Be realistic about major expenditures, for example, will your mortgage be paid off by the time you retire? If so, you may need less income than you do now. On the other hand, if you plan to buy a vacation home or travel for fun or to see grandchildren when you retire, you may need the same level of income you have now. Also, will you have to pay out of pocket for health insurance? Numerous financial considerations come into play when planning for the future.

    Personal Money Market
    Retirement Plan Calculator

  6. Understand your credit report.

    Credit reporting agencies keep track of your financial behavior including how much credit you have, how long you’ve had it and whether you pay your bills on time. The agencies that maintain the reports include Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Lenders buy credit reports and use them as a tool in deciding whether to offer you a prequalification. Credit reports are ranked with a score between 300 and 850 that allows the lender to determine whether you are creditworthy and are likely to repay a loan.