Money

10 Quick Ways to Fix Your Finances

02.02.11 GreenPiggyBank

When your finances are on life support, what do you do?  Simple. Bring your finances back to life.

With an array of options to reviving your pocketbook, it can be difficult to know which way to turn. But that’s where Cotton Candy contributor Ornella Grosz steps in to help.

Here, she gives ten of the fastest ways to revamp your finances and quickly point you in the right direction.

No. 1 Get naked
Expose yourself to your financial truths. Reviewing all your financial accounts, such as bank accounts, retirement accounts and debt, will provide you with a reality check of your financial circumstances.

No. 2 Streamline the process
Come up with a system to manage and review your financial accounts in one snapshot.  Think of using Mint.com, an excel spreadsheet or Google Docs, which has a budget spreadsheet you can use to manage your finances.

No. 3 Have a vision
Establishing your short to long term financial goals will motivate your to stay on track.

No. 4 Just say “No”
You lose control over your finances when you buy items on impulse.

No. 5 Beggars can’t be choosers
When you have debt, it limits your choices.  Come up with a plan to paying off your credit card debt.

No. 6 Automate
Consider having a certain amount of money automatically deducted from your payroll check to be deposited into your savings and retirement account.  You will be building your emergency fund and retirement account simultaneously.

No. 7 Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Diversification is critical to long-term investing in order to minimize your risk.

No. 8 Get rid of unwanted expenses
Do you have a house phone that you rarely use? Or a gym membership to a gym where you attend only two or three times a month?  Even the premium channels are an unwanted expense.  For example, Netflix and Comcast On Demand have made it less expensive to watch TV shows and movies.  Get rid of expenses where the costs outweigh the benefits.

No. 9 Reduce expenses
Find out which of your regular monthly expenses is eating up money. For example, many of us eat out, but if you cook your meals and bring a brown baggie to work, you could save at least $150 a month.

No. 10 Organize your financial documents
This really helps at tax time.  For instance, use a file container to file your tax documents, insurance policies (disability, health, life, etc.), mortgage or rent (purchase agreement, mortgage documents, rent agreement), auto (car registration, title, maintenance records, car insurance), loans (credit cards, student and personal loans), investments (retirement and other brokerage accounts), bank accounts, etc.


Written by: Ornella Grosz
Ornella Grosz is the author of Moneylicious: A Financial Clue for Generation Y



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