Consumer expert Carmel Weems tells Fox 2's Murray Feldman there are six keys to getting your finances in order for 2011.
FINANCES. Are your checking, savings or IRA/401K accounts “anemic”? Give them a monetary transfusion. Saving even five dollars a week makes a difference, and reinforces the importance of saving in tough economic times.
EXPENSES. Cut out some of the discretionary spending and divert to your savings. Eating one less take-out meal a week can give you the “extra” five dollar weekly savings.
DEBT. Set a realistic plan for reducing debt. For some, paying off debt is like losing weight -- many give up because they don’t see instant “big results”. Here’s a twist – pay off your smallest debt first. It will give you the incentive to continue to pay down your expenses.
PERSONAL INFORMATION. (utility bills, credit card statements, medical statements, etc.). SHRED any outdated documents, and keep current documents in a safe place.
INTERNET ACCOUNT SECURITY. Have you been using the same password for more than a year? It’s time to change the password. Make your passwords difficult by including numbers and special characters. Don’t list your account logins and passwords on your computer. Keep them in a safe place.
INSURANCE POLICIES. – home, life, auto and health. Have you had any children recently? Did you make any home improvements or purchase a car? These can affect insurance rates. Shop around for best rates AND coverage.