Tackle these 3 easy tasks over Labor Day weekend to improve your finances


You can enjoy Labor Day weekend and improve your finances. Some important money tasks don't take much time — you can even do them over a holiday weekend.

Consider taking a half hour to cross these three off your to-do list.

3 minutes: Update your beneficiaries

Updating the beneficiaries on accounts including your 401(k), IRA, and life insurance policies is a to-do that's quick to complete — one of our Grow reporters managed it in just three minutes. Beneficiaries on certain assets trump even what's in your will, so it's important to make sure the people listed are the ones you want to receive that money.

"You really never know what can happen, so it's important to make sure that all of your paperwork is up to date in the event of something unexpected happening to you," says Janet Stanzak, a certified financial planner with Financial Empowerment in Burnsville, Minnesota.

Read more: It takes just 3 minutes to update 'perhaps the most important document in all of your financial planning'

5 minutes: Check your credit score

This three-digit number can be a factor in whether a lender approves your application for a mortgage, auto loan, or a credit card, and at what interest rate. A good credit score can also make the difference in the rate you qualify for on insurance premiums and the initial costs of renting an apartment, among other benefits.

There are several places where you can get a free look at your score and tips to improve it, including and Signing up or logging in to review your credit score should take about 5 minutes.

Read more: 2 ways to check your credit score for free

You really never know what can happen, so it's important to make sure that all of your paperwork is up to date in the event of something unexpected happening to you.
Janet Stanzak
Certified financial planner

10 minutes: Look over your account statements

It's smart to look over your bank and credit card statements. Taking just 10 minutes to do a line-by-line review can help you spot potential problems, like being charged twice for a single item or a fraudulent charge. This review can also be a good nudge to cancel any recurring charges for services you no longer use, Stanzak says.

"From what I see, it's the smaller charges you sign up for, whether it's a subscription you forget to cancel, or an iTunes charge. Those can sometimes go unnoticed, but they add up," she says.

Read more: 5 red flags to watch out for on your financial statements

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