Spring Cleaning isn’t just for your houses, kitchens, and closets. You can Spring Clean anything! It’s in your favor to take a look at your budget and finances and spring clean your finances also. Especially, coming out of the season of giving and the cold winter days. It’s a good idea to take a hard look at your holiday spending, health insurance, and long-term savings goals/accounts. All of which are vital to your overall financial wellbeing. Before you read the tips below; understand this. It’s best to tackle one area at a time. There’s no need to compare your progress to everyone else’s and think you’re not winning because you’re not at their level. Give yourself time, and work towards your financial goals. Start with a small task. If you begin cleaning and organizing your grocery budget, do something small and simple like going over the weekly expenditures with your spouse to get yourself into a work groove and see some progress.
1) Change passwords for bank accounts and credit cards.
A change in seasons is a great time to update. This way, you only have the same password or pin for 3-4 months out of the year. Changing them frequently keeps the chance of your information getting stolen to a minimum.
2) Go through financial paperwork and do a deep clean.
Becoming aware of your financial health. You can’t change something you’re unaware of. What’s your debt to savings ratio?Get serious about how you’re spending, & where you can be saving. It is important to make note of where all your money is going and why. This helps you understand why your budget isn’t working, or where all of your money may be going.
3) Take stock of your assets and adjust them.
Embrace investments if you haven’t already. Go to HR and review your assets. You should be saving in Roth IRA, IRA or 401(k). With a Roth you save with after-tax dollars, so, unlike with a regular 401(k), you won’t pay income taxes on withdrawals. That’s a good deal if you’ll be in a higher tax bracket at retirement, as is the case for many young investors.
4) See what’s on your credit report.
It’s important to pay off your credit cards. Identity IQ is a great resource that allows you to monitor and check your credit. The first time is only $1.00! Who can beat that? A healthy credit score is above 650, and an exemplary score is over 700. Your score is important because it’s the first point of reference a lender has for your trustworthiness with money–and if someone is going to lend you the money to buy a house or go to graduate school, they’re going to want to know that you’re trustworthy. If you find that your score is lower than that you can contact us to see how we can help rebuild your credit and get your back on track!
5) Make any necessary updates to your budget.
Over half of Americans report that they don’t have a budget at all, and about 20% say they don’t have a good idea of how much they spend on housing, food, and entertainment. Budgeting Is the process of creating a plan to spend your money. Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income. Creating a spending plan allows you to determine in advance whether you will have enough money to do the things you need to do or would like to do.There are lots of free apps or tools out there to help you keep track of what you are spending and where. Remember this when you go to look at your finances! A budget doesn’t limit you but lets you see where all your money is going.
6) Decide what trips you take when the weather warms up and start planning accordingly.
A lot of times when we think about traveling internationally, the affordability factor always plays a role. International travel isn’t as expensive daunting as you may think. Well, your plane ticket usually is, but, with that in mind; you can travel internationally well under $1000! Lodging, food, and activities are on the lighter side of your budget. If you plan for the bigger price items, you will find that you can afford it much faster! Another option, to build your credit is to find a great credit card, that offers good bonus points for signing up and if you keep the balance paid off the points will accrue and you can travel cheap or free! Contact us today to see which cards you can get pre-approved for and get you on to that dream vacation!
7) Finish paying off any debt from the holidays.
Many people say they feel like they’ve gotten a raise simply by knowing where their money is going—it’s like earning a couple hundred dollars right off the bat! Debt and the holidays can come hand in hand for some, but as I said in the last tip, understanding where your money is going and utilizing the great points system most credit cards offer to allow you to get the most for your family while earning money back!