I know it’s hard to believe that the year is almost over! The holidays are about to begin, and there will be lots to do and countless events to attend. I just want to remind you to be sure to keep your financial affairs in the mix. There are several steps you and your family can take to get a head start on the new year, and hopefully position you better financially.
- Review Your Credit Report
Did you know that you are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months by each credit bureau? Taking the time to review your credit report is always a good idea, but especially at the close of the year. Don’t let 2019 catch your credit errors, outstanding balances, etc. You can request a copy at annualcreditreport.com.
As you go through your report, look carefully to see whether anyone has opened new lines of credit without your knowledge using your personal information. In addition to looking for possible fraud, you should make sure that the information about you, such as your name, phone number, and address, is correct. Sometimes the credit bureaus mix up people with similar names.
Lastly, look out for closed accounts that are still reported as open and accounts that are incorrectly reported as late or delinquent. You can do this by contacting the credit bureaus through their websites or by calling their customer-service numbers.
- Review Your Home Insurance
Recent storm, hurricanes and other natural disasters should serve as reminders to check your homeowner’s insurance (and flood insurance, if it applies) before the next threat heads your way. Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, while March through August is peak season for tornadoes. Wildfires also tend to flare up in spring and summer.
Make time to meet with your insurance agent, who will have software that can estimate the replacement cost of your home if the worst happens.
- Fill Out the FAFSA
If you or your child will be attending college next year, be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will determine your eligibility for public financial aid. The form becomes available Oct. 1. Be sure to submit it as soon as possible because federal aid can be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Within a week of filing, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report, which will tell you whether you qualify for federal need-based aid such as Pell grants and work-study programs.
4. Buy at Home Improvement and Lawn Care Items at Deep Discounts
With the weather cooling down, you may be considering doing some work on your house before the temperature really drops. If you’ve been procrastinating about putting a new coat of paint on your walls, now is a great time to buy interior paint. And just in time as the fall foliage drops, leaf blowers are on deep discount. Lastly, don’t forget about your family’s safety detectors can also be purchased at bargain prices and are sometimes given out by your local fire department.
I would love to hear some of your end-of the year tips! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled_Financial and LinkedIn! To schedule a complimentary consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email email@example.com and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome!
*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.