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Hartselle Enquirer

Money matters: Spruce up your finances

By Patricia Lloyd

Media Manager

Redstone Federal Credit Union

Spring is a great time to refresh, renew and re-evaluate things around you. Spring cleaning can apply to your flower beds, your home and your finances.  

Now is a great time to conduct a thorough financial cleanup. It’s important to add it to your crowded ‘to-do list’ because messy finances can harm your family’s financial well-being in the form of missed payments, overdrawn accounts and missed savings opportunities.  

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to spruce up your finances. Here are some tips to help your finances sparkle: 

Streamline your banking  

Sign up for direct deposit, switch to automatic online bill pay and sign up for e-statements to reduce paper waste. Shred year-old bank statements, old Social Security statements and tax documents that are more than seven years old. 

Plan your estate  

Create or update your will if you have had any major life changes. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to guarantee that the exact people receive exactly what you want them to have upon your passing. Don’t forget to list your beneficiaries on your financial accounts and insurance policies. 

Review reports and required documents 

Review your credit report several times each year. Check for accuracy, identity theft and dispute any errors you find. You can receive a free credit report annually from all three credit reporting agencies, go to AnnualCreditReport.com to request your reports. Organize your important documents in a secure place and make sure your loved ones know how to find them in the event of an emergency. 

Invest in Insurance   

If you aren’t yet protected, now is the time to choose a life insurance policy. The coverage is an important part of your financial plan as it protects your loved ones by covering debts and expenses should you pass unexpectedly. It’s an investment that provides peace of mind.  

Know your net worth  

At least once a year, you should evaluate how you are doing financially. Regardless of how much you earn, it’s important to calculate your net worth by taking what you own (your assets) and subtracting what you owe (your liabilities) to see where you stand. Knowledge is power!   

Get rid of it   

Are you paying for memberships or services that you no longer use? Which unused items can you sell for extra cash? Not a fan of garage sales, try selling online using many of the sites that help you get rid of unwanted stuff. Use the extra money to pay off debt or use it toward a fun weekend getaway.   

 

Have a question for Patricia or for one of Redstone Federal Credit Union’s accredited financial counselors? Send your questions to aspire@redfcu.org.    

 

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