Many people are under the impression that managing their finances will take up way too much of their time.
While it is true that a good financial overhaul or planning session does require the initial investment of time, ongoing maintenance (or small, scheduled updates) doesn’t have to take longer than a few minutes here and there.
Do you have an hour to spare this weekend to improve your finances?
Here are three quick tasks you can check off your “to-do” list this weekend so you can begin feeling a bit more settled:
1. Automate Your Finances
Life happens and it can become really tricky to balance all of your commitments. We get it. That said, missing a credit card or other monthly payment can really impact your credit. In order to ensure that you never miss a payment, consider setting up automatic payments from your checking account for your utilities, phone bills, gym membership, and other routine bills. If you haven’t already set up automatic payments, make it a goal to get started this weekend. With just a few clicks, you can arrange for your bills to be paid automatically each month (or an alternatively appropriate frequency) so that you never have to think about it. Another useful tip? Ask Siri to remind you to pay your bills each month. Set up calendar reminders on your work calendar to keep your bills top of mind. Additionally, take the time to set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings accounts so that you can ensure you’re actively saving and putting your hard-earned money towards those goals. That down payment on a new car or house won’t save for itself!
2. Find Those Savings
When was the last time you took a look at your budget? Whether it’s been a minute, a month, or a year – dedicate thirty minutes this weekend to making necessary updates and tweaks. If your life circumstance and spending needs have changed, update the corresponding budget categories as needed. Have your financial priorities changed? Where might you be able to discover some savings? Revisit all of your “must-haves” and spending necessities and be honest with yourself. Are there places where you’re wasting money or perhaps overspending? Challenge yourself to find at least $50 in savings by re-evaluating your budget and then deposit those savings directly to your savings account. Yay for productivity!
3. Pull Your Credit Report
In order to improve your score, you first need to KNOW your score. You are entitled to a free credit report every twelve months from each of the three main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If you haven’t pulled your report lately, log on to one of the credit bureaus to find out where you stand. When viewing your score, be on the lookout for any suspicious activity. If your score seems wildly out of line with your expectations, do a double (or even tripe) check of the report. If anything seems suspicious, contact the credit agency to make an inquiry and make sure you are not a victim of identify theft or any other fraud.
What’s a good credit score? While the range varies according to what source you consult, a score of 690 and above is generally considered “good” credit. That said, an excellent score is 720 and above (the maximum score is 850). Aim for a score of 750, if possible. With a score of 750, you will find that you may have many favorable options when it comes to interest rates on long-term financing and credit cards. Worried your score isn’t where it should be? Rest easy, girlfriend …read more here for ways you CAN make improvements.
myneedtolive guest blogger
Brittan Leiser is a Financial Advisor in Cleveland, Ohio. Brittan created AdvisHER after recognizing that in the male dominated financial industry, women often felt ignored or overwhelmed when it came to having a conversation about their own personal finances. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, Brittan is passionate about helping clients understand their financial options in order to achieve their true potential.