Even if it’s not spring, cleaning up your finances is always a good idea in any season.
Here are some tips to help get you started.
MAKE GRAPHIC OUT OF THIS QUOTE, OR FIND APPROPRIATE PHOTO
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
- Take a hard look at your credit cards.
New credit cards are equipped with computer chips that make it nearly impossible for hackers to use your data. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to check your statements every month to make sure there are no mistaken or duplicate charges. It’s also a good idea to review the constantly-changing, fine-print terms and conditions, and use only those cards with acceptable terms.
- Pay off debt.
With credit cards, it’s best to pay off balances monthly, or keep balances to less than 30% of your available credit line. If a family member has gotten into credit card debt, keep in mind that while it’s financially advantageous to pay off cards with high interest rates first, research has shown that emotionally it may be better to pay off low balances first so that progress is physically visible as fewer bills come in the mail. When considering payoff of mortgages or student loans, check with us so that we can help you create a long-term plan that considers your retirement, estate and tax situation.
- Check your credit reports.
No need to sign up for a service, it’s free to check your credit reports to ensure no one has used your name or identity to make unauthorized purchases, and you should do so at least once a year. Here is more information: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports
- Take inventory of your purchases.
Examining and listing your purchases can help you decide whether you’re spending too much or too little on things that give you joy. And keeping a current inventory of furniture, automobiles, jewelry and artwork is important for your insurance records, estate plan and will.
- Consider automating.
If you’re still saving for college, upcoming expenses or retirement, consider having part of your income deposited directly into the proper accounts. And if you’re spending a lot of time or postage paying bills, consider signing up for auto-pay for recurring expenses. A lot of banking and bill-paying can even be done right from your smartphone.
- Review your insurance policies.
Take a close look at your home, auto and life policies to make sure you actually have the coverage you need and are not over- or under-insured. It’s also important that your beneficiaries are up-to-date.
- Do an overall financial review.
Step back and take a fresh look at your net worth composition, your investment portfolio and your overall financial situation. Are you on track for your retirement? Does your portfolio need rebalancing; is it in line with your risk tolerance? Is your estate plan up-to-date? Are beneficiaries designated properly?
Give us a call if we can help you sweep away any clutter when it comes to your finances. Let’s clear the way for success throughout the year!