Sep
06

Time For Chicago New Home Owners to Take Care of Finances

September 06, 2012

I am a procrastinator. I procrastinated on this story, and now our Chicago new home owners won’t see it until after the fact.

September 6 is National Fight Procrastination Day, or was, if you are reading this in your inbox on the 7th.

Chicago new home owner financesStill, it’s never too late to get your act together, and this Fight Procrastination Day, Chicago-based BMO has advice for one of the most costly procrastination mishaps: your finances.

Are there receipts lying on the kitchen counter? How many months behind is your checkbook from being balanced? Is saving something you’ll start “someday”? It’s time to give yourself a financial check-up and kick procrastination to the curb.

“Most of us have a lot going on in our lives. It’s easy to put our fiscal maintenance on the back burner,” said Brad Smith, president of M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. “Just starting with small steps can make it a lot easier.”

Smith offers this advice for us procrastinators:

*Save: The key to saving is consistency. Even if you put just $5 into a savings account on a consistent basis, you will grow savings. As your income increases or your debts are paid down, increase the amount you put away each month. Ideally, you should have three to six months worth of living expenses saved, so work toward that goal.

*Research: You know you have debt, but do you know how much? If not, it’s hard to make a plan to pay it down. Gain a clear understanding of how much debt you have and where your money is going each month, then make paying down debt on high-interest credit cards a priority. Even if you are on top of your finances, a budget will help you to control spending. There are many free budget templates online.

*Check: Your credit score determines the rates you will receive on a mortgage, a car loan, insurance rates and much more. Everybody is entitled to a free yearly credit report. Check it over carefully and report any errors you find. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get started. Do it now: Don’t procrastinate.

Categories: Education, Mortgages

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Tracey

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