The snow is beginning to melt, the days are getting longer ... spring is definitely in the air! Every year at this time, millions of Americans set about organizing their houses and tackling projects that they've put off over the winter. But what about your financial house; is that in order? Now is the perfect time to review and, if necessary, clean up your personal finances, to ensure that your spring is filled more with sunshine than rain clouds.
Revisit Your Spending Plan
How do you track your spending? Do you have a monthly plan? Instead of simply swiping your card and dealing with the bill at the end of the month, look ahead and find opportunities where you can spend your hard-earned money more wisely.
Does thinking about a budget intimidate you? Does the word itself – budget – cause a bad taste in your mouth? Instead of referring to it as a budget, call it a spending plan, and then create one. With the use of State Bank of Cross Plains' online banking platform, you have access to FREE budgeting software.
Simply login and click on “Budget” in the menu bar. Here, you have the ability to set limits on spending categories. Connect all of your accounts, and you can track spending across all accounts and categories.
Review Your Accounts
Set aside some time to take a deep dive into your accounts and make sure they are working for you. Here are some questions to help guide your review:
1. Are you being charged for your account? If so, how can you get rid of the fees?
You don’t always have to pay fees on a bank account. If you notice fees, reach out to your personal banker and learn how to avoid them.
2. Are you enrolled in mobile banking and taking advantage of the perks?
Budget tools are not the only perk of using online banking. Check out this article article to learn more about the benefits of online banking.
Loans and Credit Cards
1. Have rates decreased lately such that it makes sense to refinance?
Regardless of the loan you have, you should visit with your Personal Banker or Lender occasionally to make sure you are getting the best deal.
2. Are you being rewarded for using your credit card?
Many credit cards (and some checking accounts, too) offer points or cash back for using them. If you are not earning rewards, you should be!
Retirement Accounts and Insurance Policies
1. Did you receive a raise last year and did you, in turn, increase your contribution amounts?
Every time you get a raise, you should look at increasing your retirement contribution. In most cases, a 25-year-old person needs to save 12% of their income for retirement.
2. Are your insurance coverage amounts satisfactory?
If you have a life-changing event (move to a larger apartment, buy a home, get married, etc.), you will want to review your insurance coverage. Your insurance agent should be a phone call or email away, so reach out and talk with them.