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Fixing Your Finances in 24 Hours

I recently came across a great article on MSN Money that I found very informative and thought I would share it here. The author (Liz Weston) is one of the Web’s most-read personal-finance writers. She is the author of several books, most recently “The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy.” Weston’s column appears every Monday and Thursday, exclusively on MSN Money.

In the article I came across Weston explains, “How to fix your finances in a day.” Weston explains how easy it is to procrastinate when it comes to money chores and offers simple way to tackle what’s not getting done.

She explains, “Most of us live busy lives, and difficult or mundane tasks often fall to the bottom of our to-do lists. If something isn’t actually on fire, we ignore it — which can have serious repercussions for our finances or our families. You don’t want to die without a will, screw up your retirement savings or waste money because you weren’t paying attention.”

To prove her point she decide to take just one day (24 Hours) to address some of her financial procrastinations and this is what she was able to get done.

  • She negotiated a $50 monthly reduction in our bundled Internet, phone and television bill.
  • Rebalanced all of her retirement funds.
  • Moved her daughter’s college savings fund to a better 529 plan.
  • Pulled her free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Reviewed her families spending over the previous six months.
  • She Identified and eliminated $35 in monthly subscription charges for services we were no longer using.

 

With that she offers some great resources to help get your finances in order. Here is a brief list of those ideas.

  • Do a spending “autopsy.” That’s what Jeff Yeager, also known as the “Ultimate Cheapskate,” calls the spending reviews he does occasionally to see where his money’s going — and how he might want to redeploy it. You can do it the old-school way, gathering up the last three months’ worth of bank and credit card statements. Or you can use an account-tracking service such as Mint.com, which automatically categorizes your transactions.
  • Find a better bank and switch. Getting fee’d to death? You can call around to local banks and credit unions to see who offers a better deal, or you can use NerdWallet’s checking account comparison feature, which picks good choices based on how you use your account. Once you find a better option, “5 steps to switch your bank” will walk you through the process of changing over.
  • Check your credit scores. You can get your free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com, but the scores pitched on that site — and most other sites around the Web — aren’t the FICO scores most lenders use. To get your FICOs, you’ll need to visit myFICO and cough up $20 per score. The scores come with detailed information about how you can make your numbers better. Knowing your FICOs will help you gauge what interest rates and rewards credit cards you might qualify for.

 

To read more on this article and to learn more about the great resources offers click here.

 

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