For many Americans, personal finances contain stress. The FINRA Foundation's National Financial Capability Study discovered that 53% of adults asserted thinking about their finances makes them anxious. That percentage is even higher for teenagers ages 18 to 34 – 63%.
It's understandable those funds matters can cause stress, especially if you don't feel like you have a good handle on your finances. But there are some easy steps you are able to take to enhance your finances and make managing your money a little easier – which will help reduce some of your stress levels. The best part is you can tackle each of these financial tasks in Half an hour or less.
Set up charge card and bank account alerts
It's vital that you keep tabs on your charge card and bank accounts, but remembering to do this is not always so easy. This is exactly why it's smart to set up automatic alerts to be notified of activity on your accounts. Spending just a few minutes to set up these alerts will go quite a distance to helping you remain on top of your money.
Log onto your online bank and credit card accounts and look for an “Alerts” tab, “Account Services” or “Settings.” Typically, you can decide to get email or text message alerts about activity on your account, including transactions that exceed certain amounts, whenever your balance falls below a certain level so when cash withdrawals are made.
Setting up alerts solved the problem spot fraudulent transactions on my small credit card. I acquired a text message that the purchase had been created using my card which i knew I hadn't made. I immediately called my credit card company to report the fraud and cancel my card. Alerts may also help you avoid overdraft or insufficient funds fees in your bank account if you are notified whenever your balance gets low. They also can help you avoid exceeding your credit card limits.
Track your finances with a budgeting app
An good way to remain on surface of finances is to use a budgeting app. There are many free apps that you can download and employ to trace all of your financial accounts in one location, said Angie Furubotten-LaRosee, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional with Avea Financial Planning.
“You can easily see all of your bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, debt accounts, just about everything,” she said. “And at this point you know your net worth. Powerful.” It will take 30 minutes or less to link your financial accounts to one of these apps. They are utilized to produce a budget, monitor your spending, track your investment funds as well as get customized money-management tips.
Buy term life online
Buying term life insurance online can be done in 30 minutes or less. Assuming you're provided with a proven method, it may actually be quite easy to understand how much life insurance you'll need, get an concept of just how much the term life insurance policy will definitely cost and, in some instances, start coverage that very same day. For individuals who prefer digital services, buying term life insurance online can be a transparent, simple way to get financial protection for family.
At Haven Life, it is simple to apply online for coverage. And helpful, human customer support is available assuming you really need it. During the online application process, you will be asked about how old you are, lifestyle, personal health history, family health history and it will be fact-checked with third-party vendors like the Medical Information Bureau, DMV, and Social Security Administration to make sure all is accurate. This is not any more information than is collected inside a traditional application – except when you apply online, the data could be analyzed in real-time instead of over the course of weeks.
If your Haven Term application is approved, you can start coverage on that day. For medically underwritten coverage, it's common to need a health check to verify the application information and to finalize your rate. At Haven Life, if a health check is needed, this can be taken at a time and place of the convenience. Some may qualify for temporary life insurance coverage while awaiting the health check results and a decision around the application.
Save cash on auto or homeowners insurance
Spending a couple of minutes on the telephone with your auto or homeowners insurance agent to make sure you're getting all the discounts you deserve can result in significant savings.
Furubotten-LaRossee said when she recently added another vehicle to her auto insurance policy, she found out that her premium would increase by almost $2,000 a year.
Not prepared to accept this type of big increase, Furubotten-LaRossee called her insurance professional to allow her know that the automobile she was adding was on her college-bound son. Her agent told her about a “college” discount she could get, but also suggested that she shop around for policies from companies that are friendlier to teenage drivers.
It can take only a few minutes to your insurer to go over methods to lower your car insurance premiums. Or you can go online to obtain quotes for auto and homeowners insurance to see if you can aquire a better cope with another insurer.
Review the investments in your retirement accounts
Many people save for retirement by establishing automatic contributions from their paycheck to some retirement funds account like a 401(k). However, if you've carried this out, “that doesn't mean you can sit back, relax, and forget regarding your 401(k) altogether,” said Marissa Greco, a CFP(R) with Greco-Nader Wealth Navigation.
Greco notes that it is good idea to determine the performance from the investments you've selected at least one time annually. This can take 30 minutes or less. You will need to rebalance your portfolio to keep your investments aligned with your retirement goals.
You can also evaluate the fees on your account to see if anything is different, she said. Fees can eat to your investment returns and then leave you with a smaller balance. And when new funds become available in your 401(k), that's a chance to research them to find out if they are better for your investing goals.
Draft a will
If you'll need a say in who gets what when you die, you need a will. Otherwise, your state's laws will dictate who gets your assets. Even though you already have a will, you will need to improve your will if it was drafted decades ago there happen to be alterations in your life.
Fortunately, it's not necessary to spend considerable time or money to create a will. By having an online service, for example Trust & Will, a partner of Haven Life Plus, you can draft a will in 30 minutes or less. (Editor’s note: Haven Term life insurance policyholders can create a person or couples’ will at no cost through Trust & Will. That's a $129 value. Learn more about Haven Life Plus.)
This basic will is state-specific and lets you name guardians (and backup guardians) for your children, name an executor (and backups), specify who gets your assets and whether you need to exclude anyone from receiving your home. It enables you to specify whether you want to make contributions to charities, leave gifts and what to specific people, and provide details about your assets, accounts and property for the beneficiaries.
It also enables you to provide your final wishes about your burial and funeral arrangements. Along with a living will – which lets you specify what type of end-of-life health care you need to do or don't want – also is included in the price. The ultimate document is going to be shipped for you, and you will receive instructions about whether it needs to be notarized or you need witnesses when you sign it.
This basic will is adequate for about 85% of households with typical assets like a house, said Cody Barbo, founder and CEO of Trust & Will. Families or individuals with a higher value, in a second or third marriage, or having a more complicated finances are the best off meeting with an attorney to draft a will, he said.
Taking 30 minutes can reduce your financial stress making life less hard
Tackling these six financial tasks will help you manage your money better, potentially help you save some cash and help protect your money.
Of course, all your financial problems will not be solved. But for the short period of time you purchase these tasks, you can see a big benefit – and lower a number of your stress levels regarding your personal finances.