Sponsored post for PolicyGenius
Ten years ago my husband and I married-I came with student loans and a car loan and other credit debt and he was a year into a divorce and left with a lot of that debt and house he was upside down in. It seemed like an impossible task to climb out of debt, but here we are today living debt free-free of car payments, free of any loans and zero balance credit cards.
We sat down, drew all of the ‘outs’ and all of the ‘ins’ and made our own plan. You are in the spring cleaning mode so why not spring clean your finances? If you set a date-send the kids to Grandma’s or a friends and grab out the notebooks and log-ins to your accounts you’ll soon draft a visual on where to start. Sounds easier said then done, right?
Here are some tips to get you started, many of which I received from PolicyGenuis
Make the time:
-Make it a date and have all of your finances together to go through-your bank statements, credit and loan statements and all other ‘out’ and ‘in’ statements
-Let the kids be somewhere else! Take them to a friend or family members house or if they go to bed early enough and you can stay up for it-wait until they are occupied or away. You’ll just be more focused that way
-Focus on short term goals-have a bonus or lump sum coming-pay something off. It is overwhelming to think ’10 years from now…’ so focus on scratching one item off the list
-Plan again each time you pay something off. Tackle smaller amounts first. Once you pay something off, take the money you were paying into that debt and apply it to another to tackle the next item on the list. Don’t live like you have extra money each month because that extra money is now working towards the next goal!
Check your credit score:
– It’s free! Your credit report plays an important part in your credit transactions and many other financial relationships.
– Want to raise your credit score? These tips will help you get your credit where you want it to be.
Identify holes in your financial and insurance portfolio:
– Use online services like Mint.com, YNAB or Level Money to track and manage your budget to keep you on track. If you already have an account set up, cross-compare budgets with popular personal finance case studies to see how you track and where you can make impactful changes.
– PolicyGenius Insurance Checkup will assess your insurance gaps, over coverage and even areas for potential savings through a 5-minute Q&A that analyzes your financial and family situation to provide you with tailored feedback.
– Or, if you prefer a DIY budgeting approach, use this opportunity to see where you need to make some changes to hit your goals by the end of the year.
– Do you have the right types of insurance? How about the right level based on your household income and future goals?
– Chances are you haven’t checked your insurance levels since you signed up for your individual policies the first time around.
– As your financial and family situation changes along with your long-term goals, so do your insurance needs.
Make a Plan for Your Tax Return Next Year:
– If you haven’t filed for your tax return or you’re looking to do something more than just buying a new couch you’ve been eyeing?
– Pay off debt! It gives you options and takes the stress away.
– Invest in your retirement. You can contribute up to $5,500 tax deductible dollars to your Individual Retirement Account (or IRA) every year. For someone in the 25% tax bracket, contributing the full amount can lower their tax liability by $1,375.
Do it now-before life really gets hectic with kids needing a car or college tuition or children needing wedding finance help. As hectic as the household is when their are young kids, it is the best time to start tackling that debt and create an Insurance checklist.
When was the last time you made your finance plan a priority?