January Money Diet Day 30 – Give Your Finances a Tuneup

Financial tune up

Photo: Robert Couse-Baker

“Pay attention, not interest,” the saying goes. The January Money Diet is winding down, but we still need to check a few important details related to our finances. These are some suggestions:

Set Up an Automatic Deduction for Saving. This is the easiest, most painless way to save. The first year I set up an automatic deduction into my savings account, I could only afford $25 a month. The following year I upped it to $50, and I had almost $1000 in my account at the end of two years. If you can start now and gradually increase the amount as your income increases, you’ll be amazed at how much you can save.

Rebalance the Investment Mix in Your Retirement Accounts to match your age and expected retirement age. Most financial experts suggest checking your targets at the beginning of every year, and rebalancing your investments when your balances veer more than five percentage points from the targets.

Lock Everything Down, literally and figuratively. Do you have super duper passwords on each and every one of your financial accounts? Is your file cabinet locked? Do you have copies of your important papers scanned and online, or in a safety deposit box?

Do You Have a Fabulous Financial Advisor? Do you feel confident that this person is doing a great job with your money, and has your best interests at heart? If not, it’s time to have a conversation about your goals and expectations. Or perhaps it’s time to make a change and find just the right person to help you achieve your objectives.

Make Sure You’re Adequately Insured. When my roof was damaged in a hail storm, I discovered my policy covered the actual value of the roof, not the replacement value. The result was that I had to pay nearly $4000 out of pocket toward the roof. Check your homeowners’ policy and other insurance policies and make sure you aren’t similarly under-insured. Another lesson I learned the hard way:  if you have a 16-year-old driver hitting the roads this year, purchase an auto insurance policy with the lowest deductible amount you can get. Trust me on this.

The January Money Diet ends tomorrow, and I can’t believe how quickly the month has passed. Are you ready to end the diet, or do you plan to continue some of the ideas we’ve tried this month? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The signature for Eliza Cross


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>