4 ‘To-Dos’ for Your Financial Spring-Cleaning List
After months of dreary weather and cold temperatures, the weather’s getting warmer and flowers are starting to bloom. Typically, the season is also an opportunity to do some much needed cleaning up. You may dust the shelves, shake out the rugs, open the windows, and get rid of stuff that’s been cluttering the house. In the spirit of spring cleaning, you may also take the opportunity to assess and ‘clean up’ your finances. Are there any areas of your finances you would like to improve?
Are there any financial habits you’d like to change? What are your financial goals for the future?
These are all appropriate questions that can help create a financial ‘to-do’ list for the spring. Read on for a list of 4 aspects of your finances that might need a bit of tidying.
Your budgeting habits.
A compressive and clearly defined budget can keep your finances from falling into disrepair. A budget allows you to know how much money you have, how much money you need, and how much money you have to spare. Simply put, a budget is a master plan for your financial security and posterity. Creating a budget (and here’s the hard part: sticking to it) can revolutionize your financial capacities to adequately plan and forecast for future financial needs. Are you meticulous about your budget? Or do you frequently fret by the end of month, wondering where all your money has gone?
Your high interest debt.
Or any debt, to be honest. If there’s anything in your finances that needs ‘cleaning out,’ it’s your debt. And here’s where a budget can be particularly useful by helping your allocate excess funds from your income for paying down debt. Spend some time with a financial advisor developing a strategy to get rid of that debt! Don’t let your finances languish by spending money every month paying off interest. Revitalize the health of your finances by implementing a plan, via your budget, to pay down your debts.
Your retirement strategy.
So, what’s going on with your retirement strategy? Depending on age, we’re all at different points on the retirement spectrum. If you’re close to retirement, are your finances prepared to make the transition? If you’re a good 10 or 15 years away from retiring, are you planning now for the retirement you want to have? As you ‘clean up’ your retirement strategy, you may consider consulting a financial advisor to help you sort through your current financial situation and develop a comprehensive plan for accumulating the necessary wealth needed to retire comfortably.
Are you getting the most bang for your buck? Investments are the primary tools you can use to grow your wealth and increase your retirement income. Make sure the tools you’re using aren’t rusty! During the spring, check in with your investments: be sure you’re getting the maximum return for the money you invest. Consider how you might increase your earnings for retirement with your IRAs. Keep up with market trends and be sure that your investments aren’t moving in reverse. If they are, consider repositioning to a strategy that enables you to be defensive in bad markets, yet opportunistic in good.