It’s the new year!
If you’re a resolution kind of person, you might want to get your finances in order in 2022.
Taking the time to organize everything money-related can be a bore.
But just like any other #adulting task in life, finances is one area that you need to tackle in order to keep yourself on the right path.
Lucky for you, CPA firms know about money and finances. Below, we’ve combined our years of experience to give you our best tips for getting your money in top shape right now.
Tip #1: Track all your debt
Whether it’s a loan from a family member, a bank or credit card debt, use a spreadsheet to track down all of your debt and put it in one place.
Use a column to track the interest rate for each debt.
Then make a plan for how much of your income will go toward paying down your debt. There are a couple of methods to doing this — either tackle the largest interest rate and pay that off first, or the smallest debt and wipe it out.
Another option, if you want to get really serious, is to institute a spending freeze on all of your incidentals (eating out, specialty coffees, online purchases) and use that money toward debt.
Getting out from under some of those bills will ease your financial burden.
Tip #2: Get as many bills on autopay as possible
How many monthly bills do you have? Electricity, insurance, car payment, mortgage or rent, trash, phone bill, internet, subscriptions … Track them all in your spreadsheet.
The problem is, each of these bills are likely due at different times. Instead of waiting for paper bills or email notices, try to put as many of these on autopay as possible.
But don’t set it and forget it. Make sure you regularly track what’s being taken out of your bank account or card so that it’s exactly what you expect.
Tip #3: Go insurance shopping
Just because you already have car, health and life insurance doesn’t mean that you’re getting the best deal out there.
Many people don’t like to revisit insurance policies once they have what they need.
But this could be a great place to save some money.
Set aside an afternoon to shop around. You might be surprised at how much you can save by comparing prices and policies.
Tip #4: Gather paper and digital financial statements in one place
Have you ever opted to “go green” and get paperless statements?
Whether this is for your retirement account, autopay for internet service, or your city taxes, you need to keep all of those statements in one place.
Some might still come as paper in the mail.
Find a binder or file folder to keep all of your important statements in one place.
Not only will this help you stay organized, but in the event of an emergency, your family or friends can also easily find them.
Tip #5: Use a finance app
There are a lot of options out there to help you organize your income, create a budget and track spending.
Your bank might offer a highly rated app.
These quick tips can go a long way to help you organize your finances for 2022.
If you don’t track your income and spending, how will you be able to save for big-ticket items or vacations? Or even have a nest egg for emergencies?
Make it a priority for January to get those budgets in place. You’ll be thankful you did.