Getting your finances in order can seem overwhelming. But by creating a plan, you can get organized, take control of your fiscal situation, and, most importantly, be ready to hand off records to a loved one in case of an emergency. Here are some tips for putting your finances in order:
Put your financial documents in one place. You can create a financial file or binder to hold all your relevant documents. If your papers are in a bank safe deposit box, keep copies in your file at home. When collecting your documents, gather any records that affect your finances. This includes payments you make on a yearly or monthly basis. Make sure a loved one knows where the file or binder is stored.
Gather digital financial documents as well. With the digital world growing, you may opt out of paper documents. If you rely on digital files for your financial documents, they should also be in one, easy-to-find location. You might consider using a hard drive that can be kept in a safe or lockbox. If you have some digital documents and some on paper, consider scanning your paper documents to eliminate paper storage. Afterwards, you can shred the documents for better security.
Share your computer passwords and logins to all major websites such as financial institutions, employer benefit sites, credit card bills, and utilities with a spouse or trusted loved one. This will be helpful to your beneficiaries in the case of an accident or unexpected passing as they will be able to access the information that they will need. Here’s a helpful workbook to assist you in organizing your financial and personal life from WH Cornerstone Investments.
Set up an automated bill-paying system. One of the most complicated facets of managing finances is keeping track of due dates for bills, such as utilities, mortgage or rent, credit cards, etc. Since many of these payments are due on different dates of the month, it’s easy to miss one and incur late fees and negatively affect your credit score. Creating an automated bill-paying system will alleviate the risk of making a late payment or skipping a payment all together. For more information on how automated bill paying works, read this article from Forbes.
Advance funeral planning is a very smart and safe way to protect your family, your wishes, and your money. While it’s not necessary to pre-pay, some people decide to pre-pay once they have decided on their arrangements. Pre-payment eliminates the stress of coming up with the funds during a difficult time and it eliminates overspending by keeping family from purchasing unnecessary additions. It can lock in prices for merchandise or services that will most likely be more expensive in the future. Prepaying a funeral can be a good way of spending down assets in order to qualify for Medicaid, according to Elder Law Answers. When you pre-pay the funeral home, the funds will be held in trust by an independent financial partner. This allows you to transfer the contract to any other funeral home.
Review your finances regularly. Some aspects of your finances should be reviewed more often than others. It’s important to do a full financial check-in to assess your overall financial health yearly. That could be a good time to meet with your financial advisor and assess where you are and where you want to go in the next year—are you planning to retire? Do you need more cash flow for an important event, such as a wedding? However, you should review your budget at least once a month, if not more often, and of course, stay on top of credit card balances throughout the month.
Thanks for reading our blog. You can reach out to us, Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory anytime at 1-309-786-5421.