3 5-Minute Money Tasks Everyone Should Do In 2023

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Doing these things can help you start the new year off right.


Key points

  • The beginning of the year is a good time to do a quick financial review.
  • This can help you catch minor problems before they become major ones.
  • Pay special attention to your insurance policies and emergency fund, as these protections are essential when unexpected costs arise.

Promising to improve your finances is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. Fortunately, it doesn’t always require big changes, like saving a quarter of each paycheck.

There are many simple things you can do that will continue to reward you all year long. Here are three financial-improving tasks that will only take about five minutes.

1. Update the beneficiaries of your life insurance

Those with life insurance should schedule an annual review, both to make sure they have adequate coverage and to update their beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are those who receive the death benefit after the policyholder passes away, and outdated beneficiaries could cause all sorts of problems for family members left behind.

A recently divorced or widowed individual may need to choose new beneficiaries and those who have welcomed another child into their families may want to update their list of beneficiaries to include the new addition.

Policyholders who are unsure how to make this change should contact their life insurer for more information. If they have access to an online account, they may be able to make the change themselves. Or they may need to contact an agent for help.

2. Check your emergency fund

With the high inflation we are facing in 2022, your emergency fund may no longer be adequate, even if you never spent anything in the last year. This fund is supposed to contain at least three months of living expenses to help you cover unexpected costs that arise. But now that most living expenses have increased, you may need to increase your emergency savings to avoid falling short in a crisis.

You may also need a larger emergency fund if your household finances have changed significantly. Getting a new job or welcoming a new member of the household could increase the amount you need to save in your emergency fund. Conversely, if family members move or your average monthly expenses have dropped, you may be able to get by saving less.

3. Cancel unused subscriptions

Canceling subscriptions you no longer use is an easy way to add a little extra money to your bank account each month. It’s pretty easy for most people to check their monthly subscriptions because they get billed for them frequently. But not all subscriptions bill you as often. Some may charge you every few months or annually, and these may be harder to track.

It’s a good idea to review all of your 2022 bank and credit card statements to make sure you haven’t forgotten about the subscriptions you’re paying for. These could be things like physical gym memberships or subscriptions to online services, like streaming platforms.

Following the three steps above is far from a comprehensive financial review, but it can be a good start. If you have a retirement account or a monthly budget that you stick to, continue to review those things as well to make sure you’re on track toward your long-term goals. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it can help you identify small problems before they become big ones.

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