Welcome to Week 1 of MarketWatch’s Spring Cleaning for Your Finances! We love to have you with us on this journey and hope that by the end of the four weeks you will feel more confident and secure as you manage your finances year round. You could even save some money.
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The first week of this challenge is all about the basics.
We’re starting out slowly, but even these simple steps can help you prepare for success.
Your first task:
Log into all of your financial accounts
Do you know exactly how much you have in the bank and on an investment or retirement account?
You may have forgotten some of your passwords or even opened an account. This is the perfect time to figure out your starting point and spend a few minutes organizing your financial picture.
Research has shown that the most likely time for people to check their financial accounts is when they expect good news. However, if we come to terms with our fear and review our entire financial picture, even if it may not be as rosy as we’d like, we’ll stay on track and avoid fees we might incur if we keep our accounts on one keep low or negative balance.
Develop a plan to check your accounts more regularly in the future. Pick a time and write it down on your calendar. Can you check all of your accounts at least once a week? This is a great place to start.
This is good preparation for your second assignment:
Check your retirement accounts, if you have them
Are you familiar with retirement benefits that your employer offers, e. B. A company that works together for the money you contribute? More than 97 million Americans You have access to an employee sponsored retirement plan so chances are you are one of them.
Are you contributing enough now to achieve the full consistency of your company? If not, consider increasing your contribution if you can fit that into your current budget.
If you are unsure of how much to contribute, put your current contribution into a pension calculator. like this one from MarketWatch. That should help you a lot.
Once you do this, relax! Then find a time to do your third task:
Evaluate all of your subscriptions
Do you subscribe to multiple streaming services? How about member clubs like gyms? Have you ever signed up for a professional service such as a software product and completely forgot about it?
Check out your most recent credit card statement, which should only take a few minutes. Are there recurring costs that you don’t realize?
Just take a few minutes to decide whether you want to stop using any and throw them away.
There are even some services that will negotiate your bills for you (for one price). If you want to keep some of your subscriptions but are wondering if you can cut the price, either give these companies a call yourself or outsource them to a company like BillShark, TrueBill, or BillFixers.
You are making great progress!
Finally, make a plan to check your finances more regularly.
Select a time of day to continue checking in and checking your balance. It’s easy to avoid your money, but once you get some momentum it becomes less scary to check in once a week or once a month.
Ready to go? We are here for you all week. If you have any questions about how to complete these tasks, please reach out to us on Twitter or Instagram at @MarketWatch.
We’ll check in to see how it goes!
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