It’s likely that you know the finances of our government are a complete mess, and a tax hike may be in your future. But even if you won’t be faced with a tax hike, don’t you think it’s about time you gained control of your finances once and for all? Getting a firm grip on your personal economy is a great resolution to make this year – so here are five tips to begin the process:
1. Organize Your Finances
The first thing to do is get yourself more organized. Put together a basic filing system for all monthly billing statements, credit card bills, investments, tax documents, and anything else relevant to your finances. This makes it much easier to research something if an issue arises.
2. Reduce Monthly Bills
Next, closely examine your monthly bills, and look for any hidden fees you may not have previously noticed on your billing statements. If you discover any, contact the provider to see if you can have them eliminated. Check competing providers to see if you can get a better rate for your cellphone, Internet, and cable TV needs, and consider bundling these services to save even more. If you sign up for a new service, try to avoid signing a contract, which will make it easier to switch in the future.
3. Save Money on Groceries
The average food bill for a typical American household is approximately $700 per month. However, you can save a money on groceries by clipping coupons and stocking up when you see an item on sale. You can also start creating a weekly menu, or at least a shopping list to prevent overbuying.
4. Refinance Your Mortgage
Mortgage rates are presently at an all-time low. 30-year fixed rates are around 3% and 15-year fixed rates are even less. Find out what your interest rate is and see if you can save by refinancing. Just be sure to do your research and enlist the services of a trusted, qualified mortgage professional.
5. Save More for Retirement
Start participating in your employer’s 401k program, and if you already are, increase your contribution percentage to the maximum amount allowed. When it comes to having money for retirement, you can never have enough. Social Security and Medicare just may not be there for you when you retire, so it’s important to save as much as you can.
Remember, nobody is going to manage your finances for you, so now is the time to start taking control. Start slowly if you’d like, and over time you’ll be handling your finances with ease and confidence. This can help set you up for life-long success.
What do you plan on doing to organize your finances this year?