Updated: Thursday, 01 Nov 2012, 2:45 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 06 Sep 2012, 1:30 AM EDT
Grand Rapids, Mich. (WOTV) - Here’s 9 Simple Steps to reduce clutter, organize your accounts and streamline how you manage your money from Linda Williams at First Community Federal Credit Union.
Step 1: Use Direct Deposit. Direct deposit of your payroll, pension or social security is safe, easy and convenient! It may even help you avoid overdraft fees … you don’t want to get hit with an accidental overdraft fee by writing a check before your money is safely in your account.
Step 2: Automate recurring bills. Many merchants allow automatic monthly payments from your account, and most financial institutions also offer secure bill payment service via online banking – allowing you to set up one time or recurring bills, store bill information online, avoid writing checks or incurring the expense to mail.
Step 3: Explore Online Banking. This service offers you ability to review deposits and withdrawals, keep track of your balance and move money around to other accounts and pay bills. You’ll typically have access to stored images of statements and checks that have been written against your account as well.
Step 4: Automate Your Savings. Automatically setting up with your employer or financial institution to place money into a savings account with each paycheck will allow you to build a safety savings in no time. Consider this just like any other important bill that you are responsible to pay regularly and on time.
Step 5: Consider Consolidating Accounts. You may be able to significantly minimize money management time, and may even get better rewards by consolidating your relationships to one financial partner. Just remember to make sure that combined savings at one financial institution provides you the full deposit insurance allowed (minimum $250,000 per depositor).
Step 6: Consider automated money management tools. Software is available to set up automatic downloads to your computer to provide an updated snapshot of your accounts and how your money is being spent – this can help with short term budgeting and long term savings planning.
Step 7: Update your will and other legal documents and make sure your family knows where to find in case of an emergency. These documents can range from account statements, records and directives on what happens to your account, property and other assets if you become incapacitated. Check your beneficiary information on life insurance and retirement accounts, and consider having documents that would enable someone to handle your finances and other personal matters if you lose ability to do so.
Step 8: Control paperwork. Have a paper or (even better) electronic filing system for financial, tax, and insurance information. Designate one place to gather bills, and one for storing important receipts and product warranty information on large purchases.
Step 9: Don’t get caught off guard in case of a disaster. Store copies of important documents – such as health insurance cards, driver’s licenses, and financial account numbers on a secure website that you can access from anywhere.
Disclaimer: Topics are intended to be general and informational in nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Each person’s individual situation is different; consult a legal professional related to legal matters.