Wealth Health: How to Give Yourself a Financial Health Check

It’s time to get financially fit.

financial-health-check-how-to.jpg we monsters.

The new year calls for annual checkups—not just for you, but for your finances, too. Follow our guide to check the vitals of these eight money matters and find ways you can tone and tighten each

The new year calls for annual checkups—not just for you, but for your finances, too. Follow our guide to check the vitals of these eight money matters and find ways you can tone and tighten each.

1. Life insurance

Financial health check: Some view life insurance as a get-it-and-forget-it necessity, but you actually should be evaluating your life insurance policy at least once a year. The key here is to review it after any major life changes, like marriage, having a baby, divorce or loss of a job.

Tone it up: Look at the year ahead. Are you planning to have a baby or a wedding? If so, take steps now to ensure your policy reflects those new circumstances. AAA Life Insurance Company offers life insurance products for all life stages.

2. Debt payments

Financial health check: Start by asking yourself whether your debt went up or down last year. If it decreased, congrats! If it increased, ask yourself why and review the reasons for the extra spending. Understanding fluctuations in your spending may help you pay debt off faster this upcoming year—or avoid more debt altogether.

Tone it up: AAA has a credit card to suit your needs, whether you want to build rewards quickly or you’re looking for a new card with a competitive rate.

3. Savings

Financial health check: If your current savings can’t cover emergencies, it may be time to beef up your nest egg. Some experts suggest saving three to six months of your expenses—others recommend up to one year. Be sure you’re accounting for expenses like medical bills, school costs and odd jobs around the house.

Tone it up: Consider additional ways to save, like AAA Discounts that help members save an average of $92 a year.

4. Homeowners coverage

These tips can help you find the proper coverage for your home and property.

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Financial health check: To keep your home insurance policy up-to-date, first consider any major updates you’ve made that increase the cost of your home. Then, consider any expensive items you acquired during the holidays—fine art, jewelry or electronics—to help ensure you’ve accounted for them in the limits you select for your policy.*

Tone it up: Consider bundling your insurance policies. Talk to an agent at AAA to see how much you can save.

5. Auto insurance

Financial health check: Many life changes can alter the auto insurance premium you pay, from buying a new car or getting married to adding a new teen driver or changing the amount you drive. Even moving from one city to another can change your insurance rate because most take your location into account.

Tone it up: Use AAA Triple Check® to find out if you’re getting the best rate and all the discounts you qualify for.

6. Hefty expenses

Financial health check: You unfortunately can’t see into the future to know which big expenses to prepare for, but there are some you can anticipate—like a new car, home renovations, a summer vacation or holiday shopping. For those expenses, establish a savings goal ahead of time—and keep it separate from your normal savings.

Tone it up: If you’re planning to make an auto purchase, use the AAA Auto Buying Program and see how much you can save

7. Stagnant income

Financial health check: Even in a healthy economy, substantial raises can be hard to come by. And if you don’t see a clear path for advancement at your current job, you may need to consider changing your path—and looking for a higher-paying position.

Tone it up: Career Assistance from AAA provides you with the tools you need for a successful job search. Go to AAA.com/CareerPath to create your free account.

8. Credit report

Are you helping or hurting your credit score?

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Financial health check: If you peek through your fingers when checking your credit report, you’re not alone—but it doesn’t have to be dreadful. Checking your credit report can alert you to identity theft and help you determine whether any information needs to be updated.

Tone it up: Use your credit report to manage other aspects of your finances, like knowing when to close or open a new credit account (both can impact your credit rating) or which cards to pay off first (highest interest rate or lowest overall amount due?). And for free identity theft protection through AAA with ProtectMyID, visit AAA.com/IdentityTheft.

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