Many people have a lot of anxiety around personal finance. This can lead to a situation in which they are spending more money than they realize simply because they do not want to review their overall situation. Whether this sounds familiar or you have been neglecting because you don’t have time to go over or don’t know where to start, your personal finances may need a tune-up. These tips can help you get started.
Make a Budget
It may seem scary or tedious, but you really do need to have some idea of what you are bringing in, what is going out, and where it is going. Depending on your personal situation, you may need to be more or less detailed in your budgeting. If you feel you are spending too much or you are trying to dig out of debt, you might want to track every dollar and figure out how you can cut back. However, if you feel like you have enough money but you would like to direct more of it to savings or another category, you might be able to get away with a more general budget that uses such broad categories as housing, entertainment, bills and savings. There are many apps and websites that can help you with your budgeting at different levels of detail.
Refinance Student Loans
Once you have reviewed your budget, you may find several areas where you can save money. If you have student loans, you can look into refinancing with Earnest.com. They can save you a great deal of money with a loan that potentially offers lower interest rates. Generally, you need to have a solid credit history, with a good credit score, and income verification that supports the amount you are trying to borrow or refinance.
Review Your Credit Report
How’s your credit? This can be another one of those areas of financial anxiety for some people. It is important to know what is on your credit report for a few reasons. One is that you should know whether you have a score that you need to work to improve. Another reason is that credit reports are not always accurate. Sometimes there may be items on there that are hurting your credit that are incorrect. You can usually get these resolved, but if you are unsuccessful, you can at least include a note in your credit report describing the situation and saying that the debt is not yours. You can order free credit reports from all three agencies at least once a year.
Review Your Taxes
You should review your withholding from time to time to make sure it is still correct for your financial situation. If you are self-employed, you should make sure your filing estimates are correct. People often think that getting a tax refund is great, but it actually means that you are giving the government an interest-free loan. You might also want to make sure that you are getting all the tax credits and deductions you are entitled to. Tax software or a tax preparer may help you maximize them.