How to Tidy Up Your Finances While Staying at Home
With spring in the air and ‘stay-at-home’ directives in order – now is the perfect time to tidy up around the house. It’s also a good time to tidy up your finances – whether your wallet is struggling or not. Here are 5 ways to tidy up your finances while you stay at home:
- Sweep out spending habits. Clean out your bank account from the comfort of your own home through online banking or our automated phone banking and evaluate any recurring subscriptions that are on autopay every month. For instance, do you really need all 20 subscription boxes you’ve signed up for? Or can you live without a few of these? Don’t worry, you can keep your Netflix subscription, but maybe you could look into a family account to split the cost.
- Dust off your budget. Haven’t been following your budget lately? Now is a great time to bring it back to life. Your budget is one of the best tools you have for reaching financial milestones, in addition to helping you through any financial hardships you may be facing.
- Toss out debt. While you try on old, scratchy sweaters and make piles of clothes to give away, why not get rid of your debt, too? Wash it all off this spring with an actionable plan to get rid of that debt for good! Review your debts and pick one to pay off first. It can be the debt with the smallest amount of total owed or the one with the steepest interest rate. Even if it isn’t possible now, it doesn’t hurt to start planning for the future. Check out our Financial Wellness Center for resources on managing debt.
- Clean up your credit. Monitoring your credit score and credit report is important. In doing so, you’ll catch any errors that are being reported and have the opportunity to clear them up with the credit reporting companies. If you have Perks Plus CheckingTM or Perks CheckingTM from U.S. Eagle, you’ll receive a free quarterly credit report and updated credit score. Otherwise, you can go to annualcreditreport.com to view your credit report from one of the three credit reporting bureaus.
- Ask for help. Even if you’re still working, money may be tight. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t have the advantage of working from home or you’re still working, but your hours have been cut. If this is the case, figure out which bills are absolutely necessary and make sure to pay those first. If you need to, don’t be afraid to ask for help! You’ll find financial institutions that have risen to the occasion and are providing no-fee or low-fee relief loans to those who have been financially affected by COVID-19. Last but not least, call your lender(s) and ask if they have any kind of loan extension programs in place -you may be pleasantly surprised.