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Consumer

3 On Your Side: Simplifying Your Finances

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Want to start 2012 on the right foot? One way to do that is by digging out of all the financial clutter accumulated last year. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice on how you can streamline and organize your financial life.

First, when it comes to your finances, know what to toss. Shred bank and credit card statements that are over a year old. Get rid of receipts once the warranty has expired, and throw away old 401(k) statements as new ones arrive.

Next, cut down on the amount of paper that comes into your house and clutters your home. One way to do that: opt out of credit card solicitations. Here’s the number: (888) 5-OPT-OUT.

Finally, streamline your accounts. If you have a brokerage account, multiple savings accounts, old 401(k) accounts or CD’s, it will be very difficult to keep track of it all. Instead, try spreading your investments over two to three institutions at the max, and don’t forget that now is a good time to update the beneficiaries on your life insurance, 401(k) or your IRA accounts.

While getting rid of clutter is good, you don’t want to trash everything. You want to hold onto life-insurance policies, tax returns less than 7 years old and of course, any marriage or birth certificates.

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