If you’re like most people, you periodically set aside time to clean out your home, garage or closets. It’s equally important to organize your finances. This checklist can help you get started:

  • Cancel unused credit cards: Don’t throw away money on annual fees for credit cards you don’t use. First, cash in any rewards points you have earned and then cancel the account. Of course, take into consideration whether canceling the card will negatively affect your credit rating.
  • Cancel unused memberships: Did a new at-home exercise routine replace your trips to the health club or gym? Did you give up playing golf at the local club? Consider canceling your membership. Even if you have to pay a cancellation fee, you may quickly recoup your financial losses.
  • Consolidate accounts: You don’t necessarily need multiple checking, savings, investment, retirement or credit card accounts. The little bit of time it takes to consolidate them will be made up when you have less mail to open, less statements to reconcile, less records to file and less bills to pay. When it comes to credit, you may also earn more rewards if you stick to one or two cards.
  • Negotiate better deals with service providers: Whether it’s your cable, Internet or waste removal company, chances are you can negotiate a better rate. Simply get quotes from competitors. If they offer lower rates for the same services, ask your service provider if they will price match to keep your business. If not, switch to someone new.
  • Update your financial records: Make a list of your current financial accounts, contacts and passwords. Keep it in a safe and secure place.
  • Update your beneficiary designations: Your beneficiary designations override your will. Your will and your beneficiary designations both need to be up to date. So, if you’ve experienced a marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or death, make sure your beneficiary designations reflect your wishes.
  • Review your homeowners and auto insurance coverage: Make sure your insurance coverage reflects your present needs. Also, price shop the same coverage with different providers. Whether you switch to a new provider or use this information to strike a deal with your current provider, you could save a significant amount in annual premiums.
  • Simplify your investments: If tracking various investments is stressing you out, consider asset allocation or managed accounts. Attempting to manage and track too many investment accounts can require a great deal of time and, if you’re not on top of the details, can prevent you making the best investment choices for your portfolio. Consider working with a financial professional to help you organize your finances and help you determine what kinds of investments might work best for you. Ask your financial advisor for more ideas and strategies on ways to save.

Michael W. K. Yee, CFP
1585 Kapiolani Blvd., Ste. 1100, Honolulu
808-952-1222 ext. 1240 | michael.w.yee@ampf.com

Michael W K Yee, CFP®, CFS®, CRPC®, is a Financial Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner™ with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Honolulu, HI. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 30 years. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.
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