Thank God is Finance Friday time when we have a real conversation about our personal finances. This discussion is to urge you to be aware of where your money is going and how much is coming in. Just as the seasons change, there is no one size fits all when it comes to our finances. Thus, we have to vary what we do to keep our finances working on our behalf. This week I’m sharing 5 different ways to spring our finances forward so you can increase your benefits.
Every year you need to ask for your free credit report so you’ll know what debts are visible on your record from the 3 Bureaus. Freecreditreport.com is a trusted online source that gives a comprehensive look at your credit report. On the other hand, you can also request a report from the credit bureaus individually. Why is getting your credit report crucial to spring your finances forward? It’s critical because it will help you understand what debts you need to pay down, so you’ll know how much funds at your disposal. Therefore, before we can begin saving effectively, we have to know what debts we need to eliminate first.
If your financial history, by way of bills, account information, and statements from different financial institutions are stuffed in several drawers around your home, there is a problem. Your money should be much more important than common junk mail around your home, so it should be treated differently. Pick up and organize your financial documents. Get a folder for monthly items and a safe for important long-term items that are critical to your financial life history like assets such as deeds, retirement account information, stocks, bonds, etc.
While you’re keeping your accounts centralized in one place, also make sure that your Will and beneficiary information is up-to-date. You never know when that information will be needed so you need to be ready.
Don’t just put money aside for the mere sake of it. Have an understanding and goals in place to set money aside to compliment your financial portfolio. Each week, I try to reiterate the need for my readers to have an emergency fund. Each week I try to remind my readers to only use a credit card if they are able to pay the balance in full in each month. These two factors help you put aside more money for savings. If you’re seriously having a hard time coming up with extra money for saving please get another stream of income. Latoya from Life on a Budget tells us 12 Ways to Build Your Emergency Savings Fast.
Here are just a few financial savings goals that you may have in mind
- Emergency fund
- Down payment on a home
- Summer Camp / Electives for kids
- Higher education / continuing education courses
- A vehicle
Fourth, Review Your Financial withholding
If you’re getting a huge whopping refund, you are allowing the government to invest your money before you can. This simply means that your withholding number is probably too low and your take home pay could be greater. Wouldn’t you prefer to have that money at your disposal monthly rather than annually? Talk to a financial advisor and make a few adjustment to increase your monthly wages.
Fifth, Get Your Investments in order
Put your emergency fund in an account that will gain interest, but not a certificate of deposit where you are penalized for taking money out before the certificate matures. If you need access to the money in your account you need to be able to get to it quickly if a real emergency were to occur. Also, keep some money in your home if an emergency were to arise when you need cash quickly. You never know what could happen, so it helps to be ready for when something does.
Do you have a topic suggestion, or have you been enjoying our Finance Friday discussions? If so, please let me know in the comment section below.
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*photo credit createHer and pixabay
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