5 financial to-dos to tackle while you're spending more time at home


If you're housebound due to a stay at home order, this could be a good opportunity to start tackling some of the financial tasks you've been putting off. 

Especially if you're working from home now and no longer commuting, you've gained some extra hours, though it may not feel like it. Tackling tasks that improve your finances may give you a sense of control or security during an uncertain time. 

Consider adding these 5 tasks to your financial to-do list. 

Implement basic financial planning

To improve your overall financial heath, start with some planning that can have a big financial impact: Creating a budget, making a debt-repayment plan, and preparing estate planning documents including a will and health-care directives. 

Forgoing estate planning is a big mistake. "You can make the worst investing decisions and come back from it," Jill Schlesinger, a certified financial planner and business analyst for CBS, told Grow earlier this year. But if you put off estate planning and something happens to you, "it's impossible to correct it," she said.

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Trim your monthly expenses 

You can save hundreds of dollars each month by reviewing your ongoing expenses and seeing what you can do without.

With streaming services, for example, you might be able to save some money by sharing an account with a friend or family member, or skipping the "ad free" premium option. If you're able to go without Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime video accounts with advertisements, you could save close to $25 per month. 

Negotiate better rates on current bills

Calling your cable company, internet provider, and cellphone carrier to renegotiate your rate can snag you major savings. With rates creeping up over the years and expired introductory offers, you may be paying more than you should.

"You really need to be calling and negotiating your bill every year, if not more frequently," Ben Kurland, co-founder of BillFixers, a bill negotiation company, told Grow last year.

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Have important family money conversations

While you're at home with your spouse or partner, have a money date. Communicating with your partner about your student loans and other debt, as well as the money philosophy you grew up with, can make it easier to reach your financial goals as a couple.  

"For partners, it's really important to try to understand where their money philosophy came from, or their financial flash-point, which is basically any childhood experience that influences your view about money," says Nathan Astle, a board member with Financial Therapy Association. "Your partner has a whole history with money that you may or may not know about."

Take on a daily financial challenge

If you're looking for more ideas that you can knock out quickly, try Grow's 30-Day Easy Money Makeover. From checking your credit report to brainstorming side hustles, each daily task will help you understand more about your money and make small financial changes that can have a big impact. 

"The hard tasks are going to be the tasks people continue to ignore," Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and the founder of Brunch & Budget in New York City, told Grow at the culmination of the challenge. "But these are all things that ought to get done."

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