Sunday, August 19, 2018

10 Financial Checks

Here are 10 things that everyone should check regularly to ensure their financial well being:

  1. Pull your free annual credit report and make sure all of the info is correct.
  2. Ensure your insurance coverages (like, health, auto, home, long term care) meet your current needs.
  3. For bills where you have options for providers (not water because most places only have one water service provider, for this I mean things like internet, insurance, etc. where you can shop around for the best deal) call around to the competition at least once a year to make sure you are getting the best deal.
  4. Make sure you are getting the best banking deal (often credit unions are better because they charge no fee for their services).
  5. If you do use credit cards, make sure you are getting the best deal as far at interest rates/terms go.
  6. Check to see if you are getting the best deal on your mortgage.  I never recommend refinancing your home to pull money out (you want to pay it off ASAP!) but if interest rates drop or you want to switch your term from 30 to 15 years, refinancing may make financial sense.
  7. Review your utility bills and see if there is anything you can do to reduce these.  Many utility companies offer things like free devices (low flow shower heads, etc), free home energy audits, and rebates for high efficiency appliances to help you save money.  This along with conservation efforts can go a long way towards reducing your utility bills.
  8. Check your monthly bank/credit card statements for any sort of money drains that you need to fix.  You may want to cancel things such as auto-pay for a gym membership you never use or subscription services billed automatically to your credit card that you rarely use.
  9. Get rid of any big financial problems hanging over your head if possible.  People often pay to get rid of their time shares, for example.  They may encourage someone to refi a loan to get them off the loan as a cosigner if they had previously co-signed for someone.  One guy I know worked 90 hours a week for a few months to get rid of a debt that had been teetering on the edge of collections.
  10. Revisit your financial situation to make sure you are on track including your budget, your investments, your retirement accounts, your net worth, etc.

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