It’s a new year, a time for resolutions and goals. It should also be a time for reviewing personal and home finances. However, if you’ve never done this, it may seem like a daunting task. To help get you started, below are three focus areas and easy steps that could make a significant financial impact and give you the confidence to know that you can be in control of your financial world!
- Review Insurance Premiums & Coverage Amounts
“Premium Creep” is a real thing, where insurance companies increase premiums just a little each year and after a few years, it adds up! Also, if you haven’t looked at your coverage amounts in some time, you may be in a situation where your policy’s home replacement amount is less than the current market value of your home.
- Call your insurance company and review ALL amounts.
- Shop around with other companies and compare
I recently switched companies and saved more than $60 per month on home and auto insurance combined (more than $700 per year)!
2. Take Stock of Your Credit Cards
Just as insurance companies increase premiums, credit card companies can increase interest rates without you knowing. Make a list that includes all cards (including retail store cards), balances due, and interest rates.
- Focus on paying off cards with the highest interest rates first.
- Look for credit card promotions offering 0% interest rates on balance transfers for 12+ months and use it to pay off the highest cards.
- If you still have a balance due at the end of the promotional period, then find another promotion and repeat the process.
- Call credit card companies and ask to:
- Lower your interest rate – Depending on how badly they want your business, they may oblige or may not oblige. But, doesn’t hurt to ask!
- Increase your credit limit – Credit card companies are usually happy to increase your limit, which most likely will help your credit score, as one of the inputs in the calculation is “utilization,” which is the percentage of total available credit used.
3. Review Your Mortgage Details
Interest rates are at historic lows and went down further last week! Refinancing your current mortgage may mean a lower monthly payment that translates to thousands of savings over your future payment years! Also, depending on the gap between your current mortgage rate and the new one, you may be able to roll in all refinancing costs and outstanding credit card balances into the new loan, while still obtaining a lower monthly payment!
- Call a mortgage broker who will assess your situation, shop programs, and find the best rates and plan for your personal needs.
I am in the process of re-financing. By just speaking to my mortgage broker and sending her a few documents, I will have a lower monthly payment, as all refinancing fees are able to be rolled into the loan amount.
For more information on Sheryl’s personal insurance and mortgage contacts, or for any questions on this content or other personal or home financial items, please contact Sheryl Keane at: