Many people believe it can take hours on end of combing through their financial records before they have their finances in order. When done right, you can improve your finances much faster. Give yourself just one hour and see how well your financial view improves. Michael Douglass, an analyst with The Motley Fool, gives his insight into this hour-long time investment.
Maximize Your Social Security Benefits
Americans lose out each year on their retirement savings. Many miss important savings opportunities that could leave them with thousands more per year. Run a quick check on your data to ensure you’re maximizing your social security benefits. It’s not just about the cash you get, but other benefits you have access to because you’re on social security.
Check Your Spending
Douglass explains how easy it is to overspend, especially when you forget about outgoing expenses that automatically get taken from your account. Check your spending and see where your money has gone over the last months. When you find something you don’t really need, make a note to eliminate it from the budget.
Get Quotes From New Providers
You don’t have to stick with the same insurance company, cell phone provider, or cable company if you don’t feel they offer the best deal. Take a few minutes and get some quotes from new providers. See what incentives they have to offer and whether it’ll save you to make the switch. Most businesses offer quotes for just a bit of personal contact information.
Check Your Credit Report
Get a free copy of your credit report online and check it for accuracy. If you see a discrepancy, report it immediately. You want your report to be error-free so you can get the most up-to-date score and a lower interest rate on any future loans. Douglass lists annualcreditreport.com as the site to use when in need of a check.
Direct Deposit to Your Savings
Most people have jobs that now use direct deposit. Rather than receiving a paper check, your money gets sent directly to your bank account. You can choose to have the entire amount go into one account, or have it split between a couple different places. Direct deposit at least a small portion of your check into your savings account. It will help you start to save up a rainy day fund.
Take an hour of your time and make these quick fixes. They will improve your finances fast and leave you with more savings than you thought possible.