Tag Archives: finances

Save Smarter: Spring Clean Your Finances

Put the shivering cold behind you and look ahead to warmer temperatures. Spring is coming! But this time of year isn’t just about rain showers and blooming flowers—it’s time for some spring cleaning, which includes tidying up your finances. Follow these tips to de-clutter your financial life and give you a fresh start for spring.

Close dormant accounts. A financial institution will typically send you a notification if you have an open account that hasn’t been accessed for a set amount of time. If you don’t plan on using the account, close it as soon as possible. This ensures that you’ll avoid any dormant account fees and recoup any remaining funds. It also helps simplify your finances by reducing the number of accounts you have to monitor, which makes maintaining your household budget easier.

Check your credit report and fix any discrepancies. By law, you’re entitled to one free credit report each year, which can be accessed by visiting annualcreditreport.com. You’ll receive a report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Review them to make sure the information looks familiar. If you see something you don’t recognize, like an account you didn’t open, contact the bureau directly to address the discrepancy.

Go paperless and set up automatic bill pay. If you find yourself tossing aside paper account statements, opt to receive electronic statements instead. Not only is it better for the environment, you’ll reduce clutter and receive your account information faster. Another way to reduce clutter and increase efficiency is to set up automatic bill pay, which can typically be done through your financial institution’s online banking system. This will help eliminate your chances of missing a payment and being charged a late fee.

Organize and shred financial documents. Save it or shred it? Experts recommend keeping tax-related documents for seven years, which should cover you in case of an audit. If you’re a homeowner, keep documents related to the purchase of your home, records from any major improvements, and mortgage paperwork. Things like receipts and bills can be safely shred once they clear your account. Rather than piling financial paperwork in one place to deal with later, set up a filing system so you can quickly store what you need to keep and shred what you don’t.

Presented by Member One Federal Credit Union

 

Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals!

Whether or not you’ve gone through countless resolutions since the year began, every day is a new chance to change yourself for the better. Here’s a list of apps that can easily keep you on track for the rest of year:

For staying organized:
Try Cozi Family Organizer (IOS):
Keep the whole family on track with family calendars, shopping lists, to-dos, and journals! Anyone with an IOS device can sign into the joint account through their individual emails and send or receive notifications.

For working on getting or perfecting a job:
Try LinkedIn:
If you don’t have this one yet, what are you waiting for? LinkedIn is a portable resume that’s perfect for when you’re looking for a job, networking, or want advice in your field. You can receive notifications anywhere, that are purely career related.

To stop smoking or limit junk foods:
Try Quitter:
This app really helps to keep you motivated once you quit a habit. Whether that’s smoking or limiting eating out, you can see how long you’ve been without the habit, and just how much money you’ve saved thus far. What could be better than a healthier lifestyle and a fatter wallet?

To organize your finances:
Try mint.com Personal Finance:
With the convenience of a website and an app, you can access this one from everywhere! Once you link your account–and you can link multiple–you can manage everything from small bills to loans, credit, and retirement.

To get (and stay in!) shape:
Try Sworkit- Circuit Training Workouts:
This easily personalized app can generate home or gym workouts which can include strength training or yoga. You can set the duration of your workout and be stress free!

To eat healthier:
Try MyFitnessPal:
This app uses a fitness tracker and calorie counter to help you to lose weight. With a database of over 5 million foods, it will help you to keep a calorie in- calorie out balance. Although, this one is geared more towards the food aspect of health versus an advanced fitness tracker.

To learn a new language:
Try Duolingo:
Using short bursts of lessons throughout your use of the app, this app uses its small periods of time with memory skills to help you to develop knowledge of a new language.

To be more informed:
Try TEDTALKS:
If you want to be more educated on anything from history to politics, TedTalks are led by experts in the field who discuss their experiences, and shower their wisdom through interactive lectures. The best part is that you get to pick what you want to learn when you want to learn!

To manage stress or anxiety:
Try Pacifica:
When given attention, this app tracks and analyzes your everyday moods to help you manage stress and anxiety. It can even connect you to other applications that help you to sleep or connect with a therapist.

To do more charity/ volunteer work:
Try Volunteer Finder (IOS) / Volunteer Near You (Android):
If you’re feeling like getting involved in the community, this app helps to locate volunteer opportunities around your area and connect you to them.

So go out and make it a better year AND a better you!

 

Written by Zoë Pierson