“It’s not impossible at all to fix your finances by the end of the day,” she says. “The trick is to break things down into really small, manageable pieces and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.”
Rowan shared 5 tips to help you tackle your financial to-do list.
TIP 1: Consolidate your debt
Debt consolidation means taking all your debts – student loans, credit cards, personal loans – and combining them into one single bill each month. Rowan says this could lower your interest rate and monthly payments.
Rowan says it’s as simple as going online and searching for a debt consolidation service: she recommends Even Financial as a good resource. Rowan says it’s important to have good credit in order to qualify for debt consolidation, so check your credit score first.
TIP 2: Access your credit report
A credit report is a great way to get a grip on your finances quickly, Rowan says.
“That’s going to show you all of your credit accounts, all of your loans and debts that you may have that are outstanding,” she says. “It will give you an idea of everything you have on your plate.”
Accessing your credit report is free from annualcreditreport.com, and will provide you with your credit score, which can help you secure loans and lines of credit in the future. The range for credit scores is 300-850; a good score is 700 and above, Rowan says.
TIP 3: Automate your savings
Rowan says a great way to save is to automate your accounts.
“It takes a little bit of pain out of the process of putting money aside that you’re not allowed to spend,” she says.
Rowan says many banks will offer this for customers, by rounding up debit purchases and putting the extra into your savings account. She also recommends using apps, like Digit, which links to your checking account and automatically deducts small amounts of money from your checking into savings.
“It’s small amounts and it adds up over time,” Rowan says.
TIP 4: Negotiate your bills down
Rowan says many people overpay on their fixed expenses, but can negotiate almost any bill. Providers often change prices or run promotions on a regular basis, but they won’t come to you to offer lower rates. Just call up your provider and ask for a better price, Rowan says.
“They’ll look up your accounts and about half the time they’re going to come up with some savings.”
There are also apps that will do this work for you, like Trim, which asks for your bill information and then makes the call for you. Rowan tried this and was able to save $50 on her internet bill over the course of a year.
TIP 5: Avoid paying late fees
Rowan recommends simply taking note of when your bills are due, and put reminders and alerts in your calendar. Try putting notifications five days ahead of when the bill is due, so you can get ahead of any payments.
Rowan also recommends using an app like Prism, which gives due-date reminders and will even pay the bills for you.
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