Tired of being stressed out by money? It seems a lot of people are starting off the year with hopes of finding financial peace. According to a Harris Interactive poll 14 percent of those who make resolutions are hoping to improve their finances in 2013. If that's your goal for the new year, consider these steps for finding financial peace.
If you're having a hard time organizing your bills and accounts, there's a solution. Check out Manilla.com, a free program that puts everything in one secure place. You'll get automatic reminders so you know when bills are almost due or reward points are going to expire.
Secure Important Documents
You'll feel much more at peace knowing that important documents like birth certificates, insurance policies, wills, passports and other hard-to-replace items are secure in a fireproof and waterproof lock box. Pick up a small safe from Home Depot for less than $50.
If you don't have a clear picture of where your money is going (other than the fact that you know it's not in your savings account) start tracking your spending. Try the free Personal Capital app, which helps you track spending, savings and investment performance. It will give you a colorful breakdown of where your money is going.
Review Your Credit Report
According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 8.6 million households had at least one person who experienced identity theft in 2010. That's a 33 percent increase in just five years. Identity theft threatens anyone with a credit card, debit card or social security number. One way to put yourself at ease is to annually review your credit report. Do that for free now at annualcreditreport.com.
Create an Emergency Fund
If you think of a broken hot water heater or a sudden car repair as a crisis instead of an inconvenience then you need an emergency fund. This small financial cushion will help you face unexpected expenses without throwing your budget into a tailspin. Sock away a thousand dollars and you'll quickly find that financial peace you've been looking for.
By Alison Storm
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