How Organizing Finances Can Help Chicago Consumers Save Money
It's that time of year again - and I'm not talking about doing your taxes.
Spring starts tomorrow, and it's the perfect excuse to get organized. If you've been neglecting your family budget, your growing debt, or your spending habits, it's time for a financial version of spring cleaning. Even if you've gotten organized in the past, it's good to give your finances an annual tune-up, explain Chicago bankruptcy attorneys. Here's how.
Clean Up Your Credit
Common errors on your credit report can drag down your score, making it harder for you to get that loan or low interest rate. Yet most folks haven't viewed their report in years - or, in some cases, ever! You're allowed a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, so what are you waiting for? Make it a point to go to AnnualCreditReport.com, the only absolutely free (and government-approved) website, and request your history. If you find mistakes, have them corrected so your credit - and your financial life - can start improving. Even if your information is accurate, it can't hurt to take a look at your credit behavior and see if you notice a pattern. Late payments? Using too much of your available credit? Improve your behavior, and you'll improve your score.
Manage Your Budget
We all mean well when we start a budget or sign up for a Mint.com account. But life gets in the way, we get lazy, and pretty soon six months have gone by since we've balanced our income and expenses. Why not use spring as an excuse to get back on track? Take a look at your finances and note any new spending patterns. See if you can make adjustments. For instance, are you paying higher insurance premiums this year? Maybe it's time to look into other plans or companies to see if you can lower your rate. Or, now that the holiday spending season is over, can you afford to pay a little more towards your debt?
Check Your Debt
Speaking of debt, this is a good time to re-evaluate your situation. Can you cut out some expenses today to lower your debt more quickly? If you're having trouble sticking to a payment plan, can you set up an automatic payment system? If you find your debts are truly out of control, maybe it's time to stop living in denial - and to start seeking help. Bankruptcy can give you the tools you need to find relief from debt, from lowering your payments to avoiding foreclosure.
When your financial troubles are too messy to clean up alone, bankruptcy can help. It's free to learn more when you try a complimentary personal debt analysis with a professional Chicago bankruptcy attorney.