Top Back-to-School Assignments for Your Personal Finances

While the kids are busy with homework, spend some time working on these often postponed, yet extremely important, personal finance assignments of your own.

Get online and get organized
There’s no time like the present to finally set up online account access, automatic bill pay or to start tracking your expenses through Mint. Simplify your finances by moving them online.

Make sure your documents are up to date
Homeowners Insurance. IRA Beneficiaries. Health Care Proxy. Out of sight, out of mind generally works okay for insurance and estate planning documents, but they do need to be reviewed—and potentially updated—once a year.

Increase your 401(k) contribution
Less than half of employees calculate how much they need to retire, according to a report released this year by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. With plenty of free online tools (like this calculator), planning ahead can be painless. While you’re at it, increase your 401(k) contribution by at least 1% (more if you need it). You won’t miss it now, and it will definitely pay off later.

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