Five Simple Steps to a Tidy Financial House
1) Check your credit report and score. Having a good credit rating can affect everything from gettinga home loan to the way applications for insurance and even employment are considered. Since you’re entitled to one free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies- Equifax, TransUnion and Experian– why not check to ensure your report is accurate. This is also a smart way to catch any signs of identity theft. See where you stand at www.annualcreditreport.com.
2) Revamp your emergency fund. 3 months of expenses is the recommended amount to set aside in your emergency stash. Factors you should consider in determining the size of the fund are family size, current debt and insurance coverage. If you already have an emergency fund, great job! Now consider boosting it to 6 months of reserves. Feeling prepared is a great stress reducer.
3) Revisit credit cards. Check out the terms and conditions of your credit cards to make sure they’re still in line with what you signed up for. Some good news about newer credit cards is that they can be equipped with computer chips that provide unique identifiers for each transaction, so hackers can’t reuse your information on another purchase.
4) Go paperless. Online banking, electronic bill payment and E-delivery of investment statements are great for the environment and remove the clutter of paper statements. Automated electronic payment also makes it simple to effortlessly pay everything on time.
5) Do an overall financial review. Take the pulse of insurance policies, annuity contracts, retirement plans, and educational savings accounts. Are you reaching your goals? Are your beneficiary designations current? Do you have any questions and are we in the loop with any changes in your situation so we can update your plan accordingly?