The trees are blooming, the sun is shining a bit longer and the pollen is here to stay! Closets have been purged of our winter wear to prepare for the upcoming season. There’s a lot of transitional preparation that takes place in our wardrobes and homes, but do we apply this to our finances? Use the opportunity of a new season to establish, revise or revisit financial goals. Here are some simple tips to freshen your financial footprint:
Write it Down; Make it Plain
Take the time to write down all expenses you can foresee for the next few months. Determine what expenses are fixed and variable while adjusting accordingly. Keep in mind vacations, graduations and other holidays will be here before you know it so make sure every dollar is accounted for.
Refer back to some of the financial goals you’ve set for the year. Are they specific enough? What progress has been made? What are some outstanding debts? How are your investments looking? Dedicate some to educate yourself on other financial matters. Read blogs or listen to financially inspired podcasts to reignite your focus.
Adjust Your 401K Contributions
Double check your 401k contributions to determine if you’re on track to meet your personal retirement goals. While you may not like the idea of more money being taken from your check, view this as a way to exceed your savings goal. To simplify this, most 401k providers have the functionality to increase your contributions by a percentage of your choosing annually.
Budgeting isn’t Basic
Did you try to skip this at the start of the New Year? If so, how has this worked for you? It’s pretty difficult to map out your finances without having any idea what money flows in and out on a regular basis. Take the necessary time to review your finances for one hour a week. We spend time doing so many other things that don’t yield results. Remember, you are in charge of your financial journey. Guarantee your success by creating and sticking to a budget.
Review Insurance Coverage Plans
How many times have you taken a quick look at your health, dental, disability or life insurance plans during open enrollment without fully assessing what your needs are? Make time to get a physical done each year to identify any potential health concerns. Take this a step further to better understand what percentage of your salary would be covered if you were out on short or long-term disability. Ask the right questions and get in front of the coverage that you’ll need to avoid unexpected medical fees.
Credit Always Counts
While there are many reasons that you can be denied credit such as insufficient income or having a limited credit history, there should always be an eye of awareness on what could be happening with your credit report. Unresolved mistakes on credit reports can result in higher interest rates or the inability for you to obtain credit when needed. Give your credit report a solid comb over at least once a year for identity errors, incorrect reporting of account statuses and balance errors.
Bank Statements Save Bucks
Don’t shred your bank statements right away. Take 20 minutes each month to highlight any possible fees or unauthorized charges that you may have overlooked throughout the month. Every dollar matters!
Fit and Fine in the Springtime
Commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise daily or at least three days out of the week. Regular exercise aids in improving our memory and thinking skills. Are you stressed about life and your finances? Move your body to release stress, boost self-esteem and to help ward off negative emotions or energy that may attempt to trigger your happy thoughts throughout the day.
You are the founder and owner of your financial house. Dedicating time to do check-ins and make minor adjustments results in enjoying the fruits of your labor. What spring cleaning methods do you use to freshen up your finances?