The benefits of having an exercise partner are clear. There is strength in numbers. We hold ourselves more accountable when someone else is watching, and working out with a pal can make the time fly by. Why not approach personal finance the same way? This is a series following the progress of two sisters who have added a new label to their friendship – financial fitness buddies.
Have you ever gone into a closet to retrieve something, and an hour later you're still there – organizing, pitching and making the space a better place?
Maybe you move on to other closets, or your bedroom, or the kitchen pantry next. You hadn't planned to spend the day spring cleaning, but you're suddenly on a mission and you can’t be stopped.
That's kind of what has happened with my financial fitness workout. As I dive deeper into my family's financial house, I keep finding more things to review and tweak along the way. "As long as I’m doing this, I might as well do that," I find myself thinking.
My latest mission: Insurance quotes.
Last month, I had several conversations with our insurance agent regarding my family's life insurance coverage. My husband and I had some in-depth discussions about our wants and needs, and whether we were adequately covered when it comes to life insurance.
We came to an agreement. But that got me thinking about the rest of our insurance. Homeowner's. Auto. You get the idea. Now, I’m talking to our agent – and others – about our other policies.
I'm reviewing our coverage, how much we're paying for said coverage and whether it’s appropriate for us. Are we over-insured? Are we underinsured? Are we paying too much?
The mere suggestion that I was looking elsewhere led our agent to reduce the annual premium on one of our vehicles by $55. Just like that, no questions asked. I'll be receiving other quotes in the coming days.
I bring this up because it's so easy to let life get in the way of important – yet sometimes pushed-aside – tasks like a thorough financial checkup. I'm not saying the process is always easy or quick, but it can be rewarding.
My financial fitness workout has taken on a life of its own, but I don't mind. It's been an empowering experience – leaving me with an even better understanding of my family's entire financial picture and uncovering other ways to save for the things that are most important to us.
By Emily Kittle