Much like an annual physical, not many people get excited to review their financial affairs. Even so, it's important to take stock of your financial house at least once a year – to review your budget, loans, saving habits, investments and insurance – and make any necessary adjustments.
While there's never a bad time to do this, now is a perfect opportunity to make sure your finances are on track for the new year, says Paula Ervolino, a financial service representative at Dupaco..
As you begin the review process, remember to re-evaluate these important parts of your financial house:
- Credit card balances: "Pay attention to interest rates and how much you're paying, and see if there are lower options out there," Ervolino says.
- Mortgage and other loans: "Interest rates are still at all-time lows. If you haven't taken the opportunity to refinance your home, now's still a great time to do that," Ervolino says. If you have other loans, verify that you're not paying more interest than necessary for those as well.
- Account cards: The way your accounts are titled affects who has access to your money, how they can access it and when. "Things do change within a family, so make sure you have the appropriate people listed as beneficiaries and joint owners," Ervolino says.
- Insurance coverage: Take the extra time to get a free insurance quote to make sure you're adequately covered. "It's one of those things that you have to pay for anyway, so why not get the best deal?" Ervolino says.
- Investments: Meet with your financial planner to make sure your investments are still allocated according to your wishes and needs.
By Emily Kittle