1. Get a clear picture of your financials—now and down the road
Maybe you know roughly how much is in your checking and savings accounts. But do you know your net worth, how much you spend on gas and groceries or whether or not you're sticking to your budget? Having all that information at your fingertips can help you make better decisions and set smarter financial goals for the future.
Recommended tool: Financial planning tools like My Portfolio® can help you track activity in your accounts, view expense types at a glance and see where your money is going. Plus, because Bank of America customers can easily access My Portfolio through Online Banking, it's convenient to use.
2. Tomorrow's plans start with today's budget
Lots of folks have savings goals, whether it's saving for a house or a dream vacation. The first step toward reaching your long-term goals is creating a realistic monthly budget that allows you to save for them a little bit at a time. A budget helps you control where and how you're spending your money and can give you the discipline to cut back on small, easy-to-trim expenses. For example, if you're willing to skip that $5 coffee each day, you'll be $150 closer to your goal every month.
Recommended tool: Our Save for a Goal tool within My Portfolio® is a simple tool to help you reach your long-term and short-term financial goals, and it's available as part of Online Banking.
3. Make your money work smarter, not harder
If your monthly income is greater than your expenses and you have money left at the end of the month, you may want to consider moving that surplus into a different type of account. You could open a savings account that earns interest and still lets you easily access your money to cover unexpected expenses. The ability to quickly and easily move money between your accounts is an important part of maintaining financial stability and flexibility.
Recommended tool: Online Banking Transfers allow you to easily move money when and where you need it.
4. Remember that monthly bills can impact future goals
Late bill payments can lower your credit score—that can lead to higher interest rates on everything from your credit cards to your future mortgages. But when you pay your bills online you can easily keep track of all your payments in one place. Some banks, including Bank of America, even let you schedule payments in advance—your bills get paid automatically on the day you choose. That's good to help your peace of mind—and your credit rating.
Recommended tool: Bank of America's Online Bill Pay makes it easy to pay bills online and set up recurring payments for many of your regular bills right from your computer, smartphone, or tablet. All you need is a site and just one password.
5. Use a banking app to save time and stay on top of your finances, 24/7
Today, many banks have free mobile apps that perform some of the same banking functions as an ATM right on your computer, tablet or smartphone. The Bank of America Mobile Banking appFootnote1 lets you deposit checksFootnote2, check balances and transfer fundsFootnote3-making it easier and more convenient than ever to manage your finances. Plus, when you can skip the trip to the ATM or financial center, you'll save valuable time and resist the impulse to withdraw extra cash.
Recommended tool: Bank of America's free Mobile Banking app allows you to deposit checks with your smartphone's cameraFootnote2 and send money to family, friends or coworkers using just the recipient's phone number or email addressFootnote4.
The right tools can make it much easier to be smart with money. Use the links on this page to learn more about our recommended tools, or check to see if your bank offers similar solutions. You may be surprised by how easy it is to familiarize yourself with them—and by how frequently you’ll use them as you work at getting smarter about everyday finances.