Review Your Financial Situation Regularly
To stay in good physical health, most people get a medical check-up on a regular basis. To keep your finances manageable, they need a regular financial check-up as well. It’s particularly important to review your finances if there have been changes to your life in the past year. Things like changes in income, marital status, any medical emergencies, or if you’ve had a baby.
You might have certain goals, like saving for a down payment on a house or planning to retire early. If so, it’s absolutely essential to review your financial situation multiple times throughout the year.
What should you be looking at specifically?
Are your expenses exceeding your monthly income?
Create a budget and track your monthly expenses. Are you spending more than you bring in? Are you using credit cards to support your lifestyle? If your expenses are getting out of control, use the budget to determine where you need to rein in your spending. Consider using cash or your debit card for your entertainment expenses or luxuries instead of a credit card.
On March 12th, Mid Oregon Credit Union is presenting a free workshop in Bend, entitled “Build a Basic Budget: The Five-Step Spending Plan”. Workshop Details: Wondering where your money goes? You’re not alone. Join Mid Oregon’s Catherine Christie as she helps you to develop a personal spending plan—not just a budget— that you can live with. Regain control and achieve your financial goals! Click HERE to learn more and RSVP.
Credit Card debt
Ideally, you should pay off the balance in full each month. If you cannot, try to keep your balance less than 30% of your total credit amount. To control your credit card expenses, give yourself a 24-hour rule: If you see something you want to buy, give yourself 24 hours before purchasing it and see if you still need it.
If you need help with credit card debt, our Mid Oregon loan officers can help. They would discuss your current situation, and share available options to lower the cost of your debt.
If you’re a renter, do you have renter’s insurance? In the unfortunate scenario where your building were to have a fire or your apartment is broken into, this coverage will be well-worth the expense. If you don’t have health insurance through your work, consider purchasing a fixed benefit indemnity plan or a short-term medical plan. These will cover medical expenses in the event of a serious illness or injury.
Doing an insurance check-up is one of the easiest ways to learn money-saving options as well as ensure you are well covered for your situation. Mid Oregon partner Cascade Insurance Center is a local insurance broker who can help you evaluate your needs.
Do you have one? If not, consider starting one, depositing a specific amount into that account with each paycheck. Start by putting at least 1% of each paycheck into an emergency fund. Aim to save enough to cover 3 to 6 months of household expenses. This will provide you with peace of mind in the event of a sudden loss of income or a major repair bill.
The Mid Oregon Credit Union Saver’s Club is perfect for starting your emergency fund. Saver’s Clubs can also help build more quickly the one you already have. You may be familiar with Christmas Club accounts? While similar the Saver’s Club has more flexibility and can be used for other purposes as well! Just visit Mid Oregon’s Savings Accounts page, and click on the “Certificates” tab to see the details.
So get your financial check-up done soon, and move forward on your way to better financial health!