Feb. 29, 2020 might be the a perfect jumping off point to a more solid financial future.
This year is a leap year, which gives us an extra day on the calendar. Feb. 29 happens to fall on a Saturday, allowing us to sleep before we leap and then face the day without 9-to-5 demands.
This bonus day provides a good chance to sit down and consider some pressing financial questions. Here are a few important ones to consider:
1. How much debt do I have and what can I do about it?
Take a good, hard look at the numbers. That’s an important, sometimes painful, first step. Don’t panic. Your debt can come down. Just make a commit to tackling it.
A consolidation loan is one option. Having one loan to pay for can be easier to remember than four or five credit card bills. Rates can be lower than what credit card companies charge. Click here to learn more about Hanscom Federal Credit Union’s loan options.
Now take a look at your spending and see where you can trim. Can you learn to live with basic cable? Will streaming services save you some cash each month? Does your phone company offer you a better deal? Can you negotiate a lower interest rate on your credit cards? There’s a lot out there to explore and that exploration takes time. (This is where the extra day comes in handy!) But the time you spend can save you in dollars.
2. Do I have enough life insurance?
Or any at all, for that matter?
None of us is immortal, but nearly all of us hate to consider a time when we won’t be around.
But when we die, what will happen to our loved ones?
It’s a conversation a lot of Americans should be having. Almost half of Americans have no life insurance coverage.
Most insurance experts say a reasonable amount of life insurance is six to 10 times the policy holder’s annual salary.
Insurance costs vary widely, based on age, health, occupation, and gender, among other factors. It might seem expensive but even a less than ideal amount of life insurance can improve your family’s future and bring you peace of mind. Your employer may offer life insurance coverage at a reasonable price; premiums can be automatically deducted from your payroll checks.
Hanscom Insurance Agency can help you find a life insurance policy that works for you and your heirs.
3. How can I earn more?
Take a step back and look at what you achieved at work and ways you need to improve. Make a pitch to your boss to take on extra work or extra hours, and show that you're ready for a promotion.
Or take a side job. Even a few months at a department store or doing food delivery for restaurants can cut your debt and/or bolster your savings.
Working Americans spend average of 12 hours a week on their side hustles with average earnings of $1,122 a month. That’s more than $13,000 a year...a good start to building up your finances or cutting your debt.
4. What’s my money-making dream and how can I make it real?
Take a leap into new financial territory by visiting the ultimate treasure trove of free, priceless information: The library. Check out a book on basics of investing, or owning investment property, or flipping houses. We even have a free downloadable eguide that can help you determine if investing in property is right for you.
You may not end up doing any of those things but it can spark your imagination and motivate you to keep close tabs on your financial health.
That’s something you need to do regularly and not just once every four years.
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