Getting Your Financial Household in Order
Review, Refine, Relief!
It's that time of year when thoughts turn to spring cleaning. In addition to sprucing up your physical house, why not get your financial house in order? Here are some easy ideas. Getting your finances in order starts with getting organized.
- Sort Your Documents
- Review and Refine Your Finances
Sort your documents into three groups, then review and process.
- Consider going paperless by asking to receive bills via email. It will reduce clutter and allow you to be more eco-friendly.
Items to File, Recycle or Shred
- Stay with each item until you process it appropriately, whether that means recycling, shredding or filing it. Clip coupons, recipes and other items you may want and create a place for them (envelope, file, notebook, etc.)
- Scan items that you can file on your computer, such as magazine articles you'd like to read again. Then recycle the paper.
- Shred documents that might interest dumpster-diving thieves, such as credit card offers or those with personal or financial information. Don't have a shredder? You can often find free events with professional shredding services. Search for community events online, ask your bank or credit union, or contact a local shredder and ask about upcoming events. And through April 29, 2014, Office Depot is offering free shredding for up to 5 pounds. You can find the coupon here: officedepot.com
- Create a safe place for important documents such as insurance policies, wills, tax returns, investment accounts, mortgage papers, passports, and even the title to your automobile. Office supply stores and other places sell fire-safe, locking boxes -- or even safes -- to store these items.
- Inform the person who will be responsible if something happens to you where you keep these documents.
Once you've got things organized, here are some ways to refine your financial house.
- Review Debit and Credit Card Statements Look for unusual charges that aren't yours. This is also a good time to look for money-draining purchases that might be small, but add up. Specialty coffees, impulse purchases and eating out frequently can sabotage budgets.
- Review Your Life Insurance Policy Make sure you have the appropriate amount of coverage. As your life changes, your life insurance needs do as well. (Would you like a no hassle consultation to review your policy? Call AIG Direct at 1-877-944-5433.)
- Review Your Financial Portfolio Take a look at what you're saving, and if your assets are performing as expected. If you have a 401K, do you need to adjust how much you contribute? Do you have a way to create an auto deposit into your savings? As your life changes, you may need to adjust what you're doing to keep yourself on track.
- Review Bills Such as Cable and Cell Phone Are you paying too much? Call the provider to see if there are deals or plans where you can save money. Often a simple call can get you a better deal.
- Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report Each year, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the credit bureaus. Request a copy from all three and then review them for errors, inaccuracies, or suspicious accounts. You can contact the credit bureaus to fix mistakes or to investigate information. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only site officially authorized by law to offer the free annual credit reports. You can visit them at: annualcreditreport.com
- Create an "In Case Something Happens to Me" Document or Notebook In it, list the important documents that your executor or beneficiaries might need and where to find them. Also list accounts (or include a copy of statements), safe deposit boxes, email addresses, and even social media sites that will need to be closed.
Getting your financial house in order means taking care of your accounts, documents and finances today...so that they will be ready for the future.
As part of your financial house, don't forget the term life! Term life insurance is one of the most trusted and affordable ways to offer financial protection - and peace of mind - for loved ones. If you've been considering getting term life coverage, or if you have coverage but haven't reviewed your policy lately, why not take a moment to contact one of our professionals to discuss your needs? In a few minutes, you can be on your way to getting your financial house in order, and affordably protected.