Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
Holiday time is a great time to declutter. As well as cleaning out your cupboards and wardrobe, it’s a good idea to do some housekeeping on your financial affairs. Start with your bank accounts. Do you have accounts you seldom use? It is best to have all your accounts at one or two banks rather than three or four, especially if you use internet banking to track your spending. Having too many accounts means you may be paying unnecessary fees and also makes managing your money more difficult. Arrange to do regular saving by automatic transfer into a high interest account and to pay your bills by automatic payment or direct debit. Set up your online banking so you can easily see the balances of all your accounts and arrange to have your bank statements sent to you electronically.
Next, take a look at all your credit cards and store cards. With multiple cards, your total debt can easily get out of hand. Aim to have no more than two cards on which you owe money.
Investments should also be reviewed. If you have small holdings of shares that you own purely for historical reasons (for example if they were gifted to you or you inherited them) consider whether you should continue to own them. A good test of whether to sell them is to ask yourself whether you would buy them now if instead you had their equivalent value in cash.
Finally, sort out your paperwork. Put all your important documents together in a safe place. Record important details such as policy numbers or account numbers in a separate place (computer or notebook) in case they get lost. There is a great little tool called myINFOSAFE which helps you organize and protect your personal information. Happy holiday!
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