It’s the time of year where you are scrubbing the floors, dusting the fans, and shining the doorknobs – Spring Cleaning! We often think of spring as a fresh start and a time to de-clutter. Not only should we be tidying up our homes, but our financials as well. After you’re done washing the baseboards and disinfecting the counters sit down and look at your financial statements. Ask yourself the questions “What am I not using?” and “Where can I save?” Often times we just pay the bills not thinking of what we are actually paying for.
Now a days with streaming options we hardly ever watch cable; so why keep paying? Same thing goes for magazines. All the articles are likely somewhere on the internet so why pay for that monthly subscription? Not only are there bills that you can completely eliminate but there are some that you can significantly lower as well. Perhaps you don’t need unlimited data anymore and can settle for a smaller phone plan. Or maybe you can lower your energy bill by upgrading to energy efficient light bulbs or invest in a smart thermostat.
Whatever you are trying to reduce, use these 7 tips to organize your financial life:
1. Clear the clutter.
Toss out items that no longer fit your lifestyle. Ask “What am I not using anymore?” and go through your financial statements and de-clutter unnecessary spending. If you have outdated receipts and financial statements, it’s time to sort and shred. Create an effective and organized filing system. Sign up for online e-statements and enroll in MTC Federal’s online bill pay to pay bills electronically.
2. Plan (or recoup) big spending.
Make a plan to tackle old debt first. There are many ways to put a little extra money in your wallet. Refinance your auto or home for a lower monthly payment or use our online credit card calculator to reduce your debt and pocket huge savings in interest.
3. Take advantage of technology.
Use your smart phone to make your financial life easier. Download the MTC Federal mobile app to track spending. Set e-alerts to tell you when you’re approaching your preset limits on credit and debit cards. Put your savings on auto-pilot. Set up automatic drafts to your savings account via Web-Branch.
4. Scope out your credit score and report.
You’re entitled to at least three free copies each year – one from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Get them for free at AnnualCreditReport.com, the government-mandated site.
Review them thoroughly, checking closely for errors. We recommend pulling one report every 4 months.
5. Take stock of your spending habits.
Bad financial habits or outdated decisions are lurking on the edge of your life. They take up space and resources without offering much in return. Look at the reasons/expenses that are behind your current financial situation and find a way to eliminate or reduce costs. Reassess household bills for ways to save money. Look for opportunities to make additional income to meet financial needs.
If you’re receiving a tax refund, use that money to pay down debt, starting with the credit card with the highest interest rate.
6. Consolidate credit cards and accounts.
A lot of people with credit card debt spread out over multiple cards have no idea how much they owe or what their interest rates are on their debt,” says Dorothy Barrick, financial counselor for our partner, GreenPath Financial Wellness.
MTC Federal members have access to a FREE CREDIT ANALYSIS. In this 30 minute one-on-one session, an MTC Federal expert will build a customized financial solution to tackle your debt and put you on the path to financial freedom.
A free credit analysis from MTC Federal can help you:
- Pay debt down
- Get completely out of debt
- Reduce your interest rate
- Lower your monthly payments
- Improve your credit score
Solutions can include:
- Debt Consolidation Loan for one low rate, one low payment. Rates as low as 7.95% APR*.
- The MTC Federal Platinum Mastercard®. Transfer high interest, high payment credit cards to the Better Card. No Annual Fee | No Balance Transfer Fee | Earns Loyalty Rewards | Rates as low as 8.90% APR*
7. Check beneficiaries, insurance and investments.
Over the years, life changes. You get married, divorced, have children, etc. But too often, you forget to revisit those beneficiary selections. Take a look at each of your financial accounts and insurance policies to make sure that the money will go where you need it to go now – not where you wanted it to go years ago. If you have an investment adviser, make an appointment to review your investment accounts.