By Jason DeGarmo, Vice President & District Manager, Fond du Lac
As the weather gets warmer, it’s a perfect time for some spring cleaning – on your personal finances.
Here’s how to do a deep clean:
- Set or Reset Your Financial Goals – This is a great time to establish and re-establish your financial goals. Ask yourself: What is important to me, and where do I want to go financially? Determine if your goals are short-term or long-term. Some examples: saving for a vacation, paying off debt to save in interest charges, or putting more into a savings account for retirement or a down payment for a big purchase like a home or car.
- Re-evaluate Your Budget – A budget will help you organize money coming in each month compared to what is going out. Without, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re actually spending and hinder you from achieving your goals. Do you currently have a budget in place? Are you sticking to it? Are there spending habits you can change? There are a ton of great apps for your smart phone like Spending Tracker, Budget Tracker, Income vs Expenses, which can all assist you with creating and maintaining a budget. Whatever app you choose, the key to any budget is the discipline to stay committed to it!
- Consolidate Debt – Whether a credit card or installment loan, know how much you owe along with the interest rates you are currently paying. Do a little research to find better rates on everything from your mortgage, car loan, and credit cards. Consider which accounts could be closed or consolidated for better terms to help save monthly and overall. A Loan Officer at Marine Credit Union would love to help assist you putting together a personalized savings plan to help you reach your financial goals.
- Review Your Withholdings – When is the last time you reviewed or adjusted your tax withholdings accordingly? Has there been any life changes or new tax laws that requires your review or adjustment? Check out https://apps.irs.gov/app/withholdingcalculator.
- Evaluate Paid Services – Shop around for better rates on your car insurance, cable, cellphone plan, or any other bills you may find that someone could compete for your business and help you save. Is there a reoccurring fee being charged that you are not utilizing the services, like the gym membership or music club membership? Apps for your smartphone like Billshark will help negotiate and lower your monthly payments for you. With Billshark, once you download the app, you just snap picture of your bills, submit them, and let Billshark negotiate for you up to 25% savings on those bills.