How to Shape Up Your Finances!

stack of money image With life insurance, car loan, mortgage payments, all stacked up every month along with a million of other expenditures, it’s normal for your finances to go awry and to witness the appearance of negative items on your free credit reports, no matter how hard you try.

Still, ignoring to plan your finances can leave you with a huge mess to deal with in the future. Not to mention the predicament it can land you in.

To escape the embarrassment of a financial crisis later in life, given below are a few simple tips that can help you whip back your finances and gain control of your financial life.

1. Organize Your Bank Accounts – If you have too many bank accounts, then consolidate them. Move small amounts of cash to one major account and close the smaller ones. Don’t keep more than two accounts, as its just too time consuming and difficult to manage more. Check bill payments and online statements and streamline them. Get rid of old statements, as they only create clutter.

2. Plan Your Retirement – Retirement planning includes having your nominations updated. If you have old retirement accounts, roll them over to your current employment account.

3. Pay Off Outstanding Debts – Review your credit report and check for outstanding payments due. Sure it's fun to go holiday shopping but when the holiday season ends, you must pay off the incurred debts or face adding to your debt. You don’t want that to happen, do you?

4. Cut Down On Expenses – When you are trying to pay off your debts, you have to cut down on your expenses first and save every penny you can. Cut down on your grocery budget by using coupons every chance you get.

5. Check Your Budget – You need to go through your budget carefully. If your expenses have increased but your income remains the same, then you are not budgeting properly. What do you need to trim? The movies, eating out or shopping trips? Identify the problem areas and budget again.

6. Organize for Your Taxes – Categorize all your receipts and get the tax forms that you will need to file your returns. If you find that you are unable to tackle this task alone, then find a local tax accountant who can help you. Ask friends or family members for referrals if you need to. If you receive any refunds, then consider the best ways for that money to be spent. Sure a nice vacation sounds wonderful but if you've got outstanding bills, its better to pay those off and have peace of mind.

There are many other issues too that you must address. These include updating your will, power of attorney, or reviewing and updating the beneficiaries on your insurance plans and other legal documents. Take note of these tips and get down to work now. Ignoring your finances for too long is the biggest mistake that most people make.

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