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    Take a Day to Organize Your Finances

    moneyBy Brandon Miller

    Cancel unused credit cards

    If you’re paying an annual fee on a credit card or other account that you don’t use, you’re throwing money away. So, cash in any rewards points you have earned and then cancel the account. Of course, take into consideration whether canceling the card will negatively affect your credit rating.

    Cancel unused memberships

    If a new at-home exercise routine has replaced your trips to the health club or gym, or if you’re no longer playing golf at a course you belong to, consider canceling your membership. Even if you have to pay a fee, you may quickly recoup your financial losses.

    Consolidate accounts  You don’t necessarily need multiple checking, savings, investment, retirement or credit card accounts, yet many people maintain them—often because it takes extra time up-front to consolidate. Maintaining numerous accounts can increase the amount of time you spend opening mail, reconciling statements, keeping records and paying bills. When it comes to credit, you may also earn more rewards if you stick to one or two cards.

    Negotiate better deals with your service providers

    Whether it’s your cable, Internet or waste removal company, chances are you can negotiate a better rate. Simply take time to get quotes from competitors. If they are offering lower rates for the same services, go back to your service provider to see if they will price match to keep your business. If not, switch to someone new.

    Update your financial records

    Make a list of your current financial accounts, contacts and passwords. Keep this information in a safe and secure place.

    Update your beneficiary designations

    Your beneficiary designations override your will. So, if you’ve experienced a marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or death, make sure your beneficiary designations reflect your wishes.

    Review your home and auto insurance coverage

    Make sure your coverage reflects your present needs. Also, price shop the same coverage with different providers. Whether you switch to a new provider, or use this information to strike a deal with your current provider, you could save a significant amount.

    Simplify your investments

    If tracking various investments is stressing you out, consider asset allocation or managed accounts. Attempting to manage and track too many investment accounts can require a great deal of time and, if you’re not on top of the details, can prevent you making the best investment choices for your portfolio. Consider working with a financial professional to help you organize your finances and help you determine what kinds of investments might work best for you.

    Consult your financial advisor for more ideas and strategies on ways you can save.

    Brandon Miller, CFP is a financial consultant at Brio Financial Group, A Private Wealth Advisory Practice of Ameriprise Financial Inc. in San Francisco, specializing in helping LGBT individuals and families plan and achieve their financial goals.