Taking time out to put your personal finances in gear can reap both immediate and long-term benefits, from cashing gift cards to reallocating investments.
Ron Lieber, the Your Money columnist for the NY Times has put together a great checklist to help us streamline how we manage our finances.
This checklist can help you formulate a strategy, providing tips, the time needed to achieve them, and links to additional resources. For each category, Ron offers his insights on video. You can customize your list by removing items to suit your strategy, and then print a personalized list of the items you plan on tackling today.
For the full checklist please go here: 31 Steps to a Financial Tuneup
Before working on Ron's list, it would be helpful if you had tools in place that will help you follow his guidelines. Here are some of the tools that I use to manage my finances:
- Mint (budgeting)
- CreditSesame (credit score monitoring and debt optimization)
- OptionsHouse (low-cost brokerage firm, $3.95/trade)
- Betterment (self-managed, low cost portfolio management tool)