Now that the busy summer season is over and the kids are back in school, you have more time for yourself. Why not take a few minutes to look at your finances and tidy things up a bit? Here are some simple moves you can make to better your bottom line and set yourself up for a financially successful 2019:
Check your credit score
Quick question—when was the last time you checked your credit score? No idea, right? You’re not alone, and not knowing your score is a big mistake, particularly if you’re in the market for a loan. Why is this number so important? Score high (mid 700s) and you could save thousands of dollars in interest. Score low (below 620) and when you apply for a loan you’ll be offered a higher rate, less favorable terms or worse, denied financing altogether. Want to know where you stand? Go to Credit Sesame to get a free copy of your credit score (as well as tips on how to improve your score if it’s low).
Get a better savings rate
The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates and while we have yet to see this trickle down to consumers in the form of notably better savings yields at the bricks-and-mortar banks, online banks are offering some decent yields. We’re talking nearly 2 percent at places like Synchrony Bank, Dollar Savings Direct (a division of Emigrant Bank), and Barclay’s, among others. Time to shop around!
Review new credit card offers
Get this: an estimated 32 million credit card holders haven’t updated their preferred card in at least a decade; 21 million others have never switched cards! No matter how you feel about your current card, it’s smart to periodically review new offers to make sure you’re not missing out— especially now, given the super competitive credit card environment we’re in. What’s out there? Great sign-up bonuses, longer zero percent introductory offers (which can help you get out of debt faster) and very lucrative rewards (which can put more money in your pocket).
Land better job
It’s the strongest job market we’ve seen in over a decade, so no more excuses. If you’re unhappy in your current situation, get the wheels in motion and start looking for other opportunities. You should feel confident in your search. After all, there are currently more jobs than people out of work—a rarity.
Vera Gibbons is the Founder and Editor of “NoPo,” a free daily newsletter that covers the news and curates content in Consumer/ Personal Finance; Health & Wellness; Fashion/Beauty; Fitness/Diet.