Finances are complicated. But these quick fixes aren’t.
Here are some ideas that you can implement — without a massive time investment or lifestyle change — and get results.1
Review your credit card statements. That doesn’t mean a quick once-over. You should sit down and spend some time analyzing what you’ve been purchasing. If you’re like nearly every other American, you’ve made some unnecessary or impulsive purchases. Don’t beat yourself up about this, because it happens to almost everyone. By taking the time to go through your credit card statements, you reduce the risk of forgetting a purchase or repeating the same purchasing mistakes in the future.
Look at your tax return. Tighten up your finances by looking at your tax return. If you’re getting a big tax return each year, you may want to consider adjusting your withholdings. This is an area where it might make a lot of sense to work with a financial services professional. They’ll have the experience to help you make tax and overall financial decisions that are going to be beneficial.
Bundle your insurance. You may be able to streamline your finances and keep a few more bucks in your pocket each month by putting all your insurance eggs in one basket. Working with one company for your home, auto and other insurance products may improve your rates. And let’s face it, the more business you do with one company, the better they’re likely to treat you. If you aren’t getting what you consider a fair rate, don’t hesitate to shop around. You only have to reduce your monthly payment by about $83 a month to save $1,000 annually — that’s real savings you could find in a hurry.
Reduce your entertainment spending. Many people can benefit from a quick call to the cable company to lower their rate. In a world where cord-cutting is becoming increasingly common, cable companies are going to play ball when it comes to keeping your business. Like with your insurance savings, don’t focus on what you’re saving per month; focus on what that monthly savings means over the course of a year or even longer.
Get a copy of your credit report. Look it over closely and make sure all of your reported debt is accurate and that you don’t have anything outstanding that you’ve forgotten about. Your credit score is a valuable way to get a sense of your current financial standing. While it can take a long time to make a major change on your credit score, doing something today can have immediate results in turning it around.
Develop a strategy to eliminate debt. We all know that it can take a while to eliminate debt. But developing a plan to get there doesn’t take as long. Putting in place a strategy for debt elimination and improving your credit score is an excellent reason to meet with a financial services professional. A financial services professional will also be able to explain how your current financial habits and credit score may be affecting your ability to adequately prepare for retirement.
Take a moment to do one or more of these things today — you’ll thank yourself later.