I don’t know about you but with three kids in school, this time of year can feel overwhelming with the number of forms, schedules, and other papers coming home. Add that to a slue of saved receipts, account statements and other miscellaneous paperwork and before long, it’s easy to let the papers take over. It turns out the papers are just a symptom of a bigger problem. Is your financial house in order?
From time to time, it’s good to review and organize. Use some of the following helpful hints to make the task a little easier and more effective.
How to Get Your Finances Organized:
#1 Clean the “attic.”
No, I don’t want you crawling around in your attic or crawl space. By “attic,” I’m talking about that spot where you have stored items such as old, unused credit cards, bank account statements for accounts under $10, and savings bonds you forgot to redeem. Settle these accounts accordingly.
#2 Refurnish your credit “room”
This step can include refinancing your mortgage while mortgage rates remain low or possibly transferring credit card balances to lower rate alternatives. It can be especially pleasing to empty the “room” of some credit commitments by paying them off completely, thus freeing up funds for other expenses.
#3 Consider a complete renovation
It’s likely that your short- and long-term financial goals will change over time. A regular review can help you determine if your savings plan remains sufficient. You may be at a stage in life that requires different tactics.
#4 Look at future “housing” needs.
Will you have enough savings to fund your desired retirement lifestyle? Boost your savings by contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, if one is available to you. You may also want to consider other tax-advantaged retirement savings vehicles, like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs.
#5 Solidify your “foundation.”
Now may be a good time to review your life insurance policies. The plan you established years ago may need to be updated according to your current needs. Setting up an annual review can help ensure the adequacy of your coverage.
#6 Protect your home.
Update your homeowner’s insurance policy and make a videotape inventory of your home both inside and out. Be sure to document your valuables. Store the tape in your safe-deposit box, and add to it as the need arises.
#7 Dust off your tax records.
You never know when the IRS may inquire about your old tax returns, so make sure they are in order. You may also want to speak with your tax professional regarding strategies to minimize your tax bill.
#8 Establish a regular “maintenance” program.
If you haven’t done so previously, set up a budget. Make “paying yourself first”—putting a set amount into your savings and investments every month a priority. Analyze your current spending habits, and be sure to plan ahead for large bills and expenses.
Do you need help with how to get your finances organized and on track?
If you need assistance with how to get your finances organized so you can reach all of your financial goals, contact us. While we are based in Ohio, we maintain an active online presence and meet with clients virtually throughout the country. Schedule your free consultation today and learn how we can help you secure your financial future.