Fixing finances in 2010

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"Tax time, the first of the year, that's when people have money on their mind,' said Jennifer Primm, H&R BLOCK.

If money troubles are weighing on your mind, Primm says fixing finances for the new year is a reachable goal, but commitment is key.

For starters, she says get organized.

"Gather up your most recent bills, your most recent statements--start a file for each of those," said Primm.

Get in the habit of adding to those files.  She adds make sure you organize receipts too--it could help you at tax time.

Next, she says get informed.  One way to do that is by checking your credit report during the year.

"Maintaining an eye on your credit report and the activity--make sure things aren't opening that you're not opening--that you weren't aware of.  You can take control of that yourself," said Primm.

Finally, get a plan.  Primm suggests making a budget you would like to achieve, then make a reality budget.

"Then you're going to want to compare your actual to what you want to be at and see then where your changes need to be," said Primm.

Primm says when making a budget, be realistic about the goals.  Also, she suggests having enough money in savings to live off of for between 3 and 6 months in the event of the unexpected.  If you've done that and have some left over--look at your credit cards and their interest rates.

"If you have more than one that you're making payments on, you're going to want to start paying down the higher interest rate first," said Primm.

She says don't drain your savings in order to do this.  Debt won't be fixed overnight and it does take time to build savings, but Primm says get in the habit of putting money back--even if it's just a few dollars at a time.

"Most of our stress is about our finances, and we can take control over that absolutely--if we plan for it," said Primm.

If you have more questions for Jennifer Primm, call 935-4372.

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