Seven ways to freshen up your finances
May 17, 2018
Most of us have areas of our life that need a good purge – junk drawer, that closet in the spare room, and even the finances. Here are some quick ways to freshen up your finances and say goodbye to the clutter.
Review your budget
A lot may have changed over the past year – promotions, the birth of a child, unexpected bills, or becoming a single income household. Every life event can impact your finances, so be sure to update your budget. Determine which expenses are priority and look for areas you can realistically cut back. Make a spending and saving plan and stick to it.
Evaluate and pay down debt
Look at how much you owe and what you're paying in interest. You might consider requesting a lower interest rate on your credit cards or even refinancing your mortgage. You can begin focusing on paying down your existing debt and evaluate whether you should work on your loans with the highest interest or eliminate smaller debts first.
Sign up for paperless billing
Changing to paperless billing will help keep you clean and organized. Without a stack of paid bills building up on your kitchen table, you'll wonder why you didn't make the change sooner.
The same goes for your monthly bank statements. Sign up for electronic statements and access your statement online where you can save, print, and view your statement as often as you like.
Set up automatic bill pay
This is quite possibly the best decision you can make to declutter your finances and free up your time. By signing up for free online bill pay and setting up automatic payments, you're in full control and never have to worry about a missed payment impacting your credit score. You determine who you want to pay, when you want to make the payment, and which account you want to use.
Consolidate your accounts
If you have open accounts you rarely use, consider closing them. You may not need that "Florida Savings" anymore or have never used that "Bill Account" like you thought you would… Streamlining your accounts makes them easier to keep track of and if you are considering closing unused credit cards, you may check to see how it will impact your credit score and if there is a closing fee.
Check your credit report
You should check your credit report annually for possible errors. Mistakes can lower your score and interfere with your ability to get a loan or possibly pay a higher than necessary interest rate. Each of the three credit bureaus offers one free annual credit report, so check your credit regularly.
Download your bank's mobile app
Most banks offer a mobile app that allows you to manage your finances from the palm of your hand. With a quick sign in with your fingerprint, you can access your transactions, make mobile deposits, and even pay bills and people right from your smartphone.
As you start enjoying the benefits of freshening up your finances, make sure to share your newfound freedom with your friends and family. There's a good chance they need some financial decluttering of their own!
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