Financial savvy tips to take into 2021

2021 New Years Part 2

Happy New Year! As we are now a couple weeks into 2021, hopefully you are continuing to stick with your new year’s resolutions and goals. One of the most common resolutions many people make annually revolves around financial improvements.

From saving to sticking with a budget to increasing income earned, money is a typical theme seen in resolutions each year. If you are looking to have a more financially fruitful 2021, you aren’t alone. With 2020 being a difficult year for many folks, a lot of people are looking for ways to stretch a dollar this year.

Creating and sticking with a budget is one of the best things you can do to get your finances in order. A budget is a tool that can help you stay on track with saving as it is essentially a spending plan. A solid budget details the income coming in, which helps you determine how much you have to spend on necessities as well as luxury items, such as vacations.

According to Andrew Bush, OVB online banking manager, the bank offers Benjamin Tracker to help customers achieve their budget goals. The free product, which is one of the many tools in OVB’s e-Services lineup, is available here.

“Benjamin Tracker assists users in managing their money. Through this tool, folks can monitor their spending, set personalized goals, and tag transactions in order to create a categorized view of their spending,” Bush said. “Benjamin Tracker allows you to customize spending targets to suit your individual goals. For example, if you are trying to cut back on ordering takeout this year, Benjamin Tracker will help you stick with this goal.”

Benjamin Tracker is available through both NetTeller and the OVB App, which are also easy tools to assist customers in monitoring their accounts. Additional information on OVB’s e-Services options is available at

Here are more tips to help you become financially-savvy this year:

  • Work toward paying off debt. Unfortunately, it can be very easy to fall into debt, but an uphill battle to become debt-free. Not only is debt a burden, but the more debt you acquire the cost to pay it off goes up due to interest. As you work to pay off debt, avoid opening additional lines of credit until your active cards are paid off. Lowering your debt offers an added bonus as doing so will help boost your credit score. You may have to give up some luxuries you enjoy for a while, but the feeling of being debt-free will be worth it!
  • Organization is key. Many people dive into their financial new year’s resolutions with no plan in place. First, assess your current financial situation and outline what you would like to specifically work toward and/or change. From using tools, such as Benjamin Tracker, to keeping a physical spreadsheet of your goals, you will find that organization will help you stay on track.
  • Keep your future in mind. While living in the present is great, when it comes to your finances you should plan for the future. Setting money aside in a savings account is a good way to prepare for future expenses. In addition, regardless of your age, it is always beneficial to think about and eventually plan for your retirement. First, figure out approximately how much you would actually need to retire. Having these specific numbers in mind will help you better target how much you should be putting into savings now.
  • Consider refinancing. As interest rates are still low, refinancing may be a beneficial option to help you cut costs this year. However, it is important to speak with your loan officer to see if doing so is what is best for your particular situation. For more information on refinancing, check out this informative Q&A with OVB’s Greg Phillips, vice president, consumer lending.
  • Set up an emergency savings fund. If you do not already have one in place, setting aside funds specifically for emergencies will help you avoid additional debt.
  • Talk to family about your financial goals. By making your financial goals an open topic with your family, you will likely feel more supported to stick with this resolution. In addition, teaching your children the importance of being financially responsible is vital for their future.

We hope these tips will help you stay on track with your 2021 financial goals and resolutions. Check back next Friday as we cover scams to watch for in the new year.