7 ways to take control of your finances - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:00 am / Updated at 3:39 pm
7 ways to take control of your finances

Financial planner and author Rick Rodgers of Lancaster, Pa., suggests seven steps for keeping your financial fitness resolution in 2013

Review your credit report

Borrowing money isn't the only reason. Employers check credit reports and so do insurance companies, affecting the amount you pay for auto and homeowners insurance. Order your free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Set aside automatic savings

Set it up through your employer, bank or brokerage account. Simply have a certain amount of money withdrawn from your checking or savings account each month and deposited. That way, you save it before you have a chance to spend it. Try to increase the amount at least once a year.

Establish a cash flow plan

Take the time to forecast your income and expenses for the year, and put it in writing. Then adjust those numbers to reach your goals, such as paying down debt or replacing a car. Hold monthly family meetings to review the plan.

Pay off credit cards

It's especially important to take action on debt. Cash doesn't earn much interest sitting in a deposit account (usually less than 1 percent) and even “low interest” credit cards charge 10 percent to 12 percent. So consider using extra savings to pay down debt. Your cash flow plan should include a schedule to quickly eliminate credit card debt.

Shop your insurance

There is a huge incentive for a competing agent to find you the lowest premium. Make note of the coverage levels you have for your homeowners and auto policies and use them to comparison shop. Look at ways to save on your health insurance coverage, too, such as switching to a high-deductible plan and opening a health savings account.

Write an estate plan

At a minimum, you need a valid will, powers of attorney (POA) for your finances and health-care decisions, and a living will (Advanced Healthcare Directive in some states). Decide on a representative if you become incapacitated (POA) or at your death (executor).

Meet with a financial adviser

Allow yourself to be held accountable by a third party who will push you to help yourself. Good advisers will help you develop a budget, look at your debts, tax situation, retirement and college savings, estate planning and insurance. You don't have to be a high net-worth individual. Go to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and search for one in your area.

Beals: Boy offers lessons of service, simplicity
Cab ride to airport (or anywhere in Omaha) could soon cost more
Coming to Omaha: fun-focused sports league where every kids gets a trophy, parents promise to keep cool
Recalled frozen pasta product has tie to Omaha
Business digest: Lululemon shareholder suit dismissed
Suit challenges a Hollywood pillar: unpaid internships
Nonparents’ resentment grows over impact of companies’ family-friendly focus
Jeff Raikes’ next goal: making philanthropy effective
Restaurants invite customers to dine with their dogs
March unemployment rates up slightly in Nebraska, Iowa
Iowa officials announce plan for Microsoft data center
Lincoln pharmaceutical company wins funding, grant
Fortress Wealth joins Securities America network
USDA orders farms to report pig virus infections
Airbnb event seeks Omaha-area hosts for Berkshire weekend, CWS
Developer wants to transform old Millard Lumber site with housing, commercial buildings
Dip in Nebraska economic index doesn’t reflect outlook
Post Holdings buys Michael Foods
Business digest: Target expands subscription service, adds discount
Rural Mainstreet Index finds slow growth
Earnings roundup: Chipotle says it won’t scare off customers with higher prices
BNSF to add trains to handle fertilizer
Walmart touts lower money transfer fees
In brief: Judge doesn’t make GM take cars off road
New tenant moves in at old Omar Baking
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Inside Business
To submit an announcement for "Inside Business", click here. For questions call (402) 444-1371 or e-mail announcements@owh.com.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »