Summer is just around the corner, and before you head off to your summer vacation destination, now is a great time to do a little financial spring cleaning. Just as you want to make sure your house is clean and in order, your finances would benefit from the same treatment.
HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO MAKE SURE YOUR MONEY IS IN TIP-TOP ORDER.
1. SCHEDULE DATES ON YOUR CALENDAR TO REVIEW YOUR FINANCES.
Just as you would with any other kind of self-care, this allows you to stop and reflect on how your personal finances are doing.
Questions you may want to reflect on can include the following: How much progress have you made on your financial goals? Am I on track to hit my savings goals this year in my investment and retirement accounts? Do I need to change the investments in my portfolio?
These scheduled money dates can be monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Just make sure you check-in with yourself more than once per year.
Making sure that you have been consistent and intentional with your money provides the motivation to keep going – or it could serve as a much-needed wake up call to get things back on track.
2. SHOP AROUND FOR THE BEST RATES AND PRICES.
It’s always a good idea to check and make sure that you are getting the best deal possible on services like insurance (home/renters, life, auto), internet, cable, and cell phone service.
Call your provider and ask if there are any current specials going on that can be applied to your account. If the answer is no, then consider leaving and go to a competitor if their rates are lower. If you like your current provider, get a quote from your competitor and go back to your provider with the quote. They may be able to match the lower rate.
Though the savings may not be significant, any amount of money you save can go towards other financial goals. In the long run, small amounts add up and helps you achieve your financial goals faster.
3. SHRED OLD TAX RETURNS.
There’s no need to keep tax returns that are more than 3 years old laying around. Keep copies of your 2019, 2018, and 2017 tax filings in case you need to amend them later. Anything older than 3 years cannot be amended.
Before shredding any hard copies of your financial statements, be sure to make digital copies first.
4. DONATE ANY UNUSED HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, NOT JUST OLD CLOTHES.
Not only will you create more space in your home, but you can get a charitable write-off by donating to a tax-exempt organization . Be sure to obtain a receipt and fill it out with the phone number and address of the organization as well as the fair market value of the items you donate.
5. CHECK YOUR INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE.
This is a great time to review your investments and make sure they are still aligned with your goals. Be sure to schedule a time to meet with us to get a second eye on your portfolio’s performance.
Some questions you may want to ask yourself during your investment review may include the following: What do I anticipate the economy will do in the next quarter and for the rest of this year? Am I too highly exposed to one sector? How much investment income is my portfolio generating? Is my portfolio too aggressive or conservative?
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Tidying up your money habits, shopping around for the best rates and prices, shredding old tax documents, rotating and donating some of your wardrobe and checking your investments will leave your financial house in perfect order and give you peace of mind before you head off for summer vacation.