Just as you have regular healthcare appointments, you should also perform a “checkup” on your finances semiannually. Here are some places to get started:
Do you feel comfortable with your cash on hand? An emergency fund should cover three months, six months, or even one year of living expenses, set aside in a liquid and interest-bearing account. The size of your emergency fund depends on your situation, but consider the following: Are you a one- or two-income family? How secure is your job? Are you self-employed? Do you have major life changes approaching, such as a child attending college?
Review where you keep your money. It’s a good idea to check in with your banker, broker, and insurance agent periodically to proactively search for new ideas or deals. Ask your banker if there are certificate of deposit specials or better interest rates. Ask your broker and insurance agent to review your holdings, and see if there are new products or cost-saving tips. They have many clients and may not always contact you personally when promotions are held.
Organize your bills. Haven’t switched to online bill payment yet? Consider investing the time upfront to set it up so that your bill-paying process will be streamlined.
SARA PEAK is a freelance writer with expertise in finance and wealth management. Have a money question? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org