Shaking off the cold of winter and stepping out into the sun are both part of what’s great about Spring, but the season is also about looking forward. Take this opportunity to not only clean out your closet, but also clean up you wallet.
Re-prioritize your finances
This season, take time to reassess what you want from your money and when you want it, both in the short term of the coming months and the long term of the following years. One good tactic is making SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time frame sensitive.
SMART goals enable you to determine exactly what you want to do — such as paying off your high-interest debt or saving for your dream vacation — and establishing precisely how and when you’ll be accomplishing them. Following each rule — specific, measurable, attainable, etc. — lets you focus your attention on deciding what percentage of your finances will be necessary to accomplish each goal, if it’s possible and when you’d be done. This will quickly reveal the difference between the goals you can shoot for realistically and others that may need more planning. Try writing down a few goals today and working through them with this system. You might be closer to reaching them than you think.
Streamline with electronic banking
Deciding how to manage your finances can be complicated enough without having to do extra work storing files, paying bills and monitoring your accounts. With online banking
, you can automate your bill payments, receive eStatements, set up alerts and much more. You can also download the mobile banking
app on your smartphone to stay up-to-date wherever you have service. Electronic banking
cleans up your finances — allowing you to get organized and stay that way. It’s an excellent resource if you want to set aside part of your paycheck to save for a purchase or redirect to help pay down debt. The ability to automate more of your finances puts back more time in your schedule and helps you stay ahead on financial responsibilities.
Prepare for an emergency
We hope you never need it, but in case you do, it’s recommended to have three to six months’ worth of living expenses set aside that you can quickly access from a savings account. That way, events such as job loss, serious illness or a major home repair are less burdensome as the extra expenses are more easily covered.
Spend some time making an inventory of your possessions as well. You can create digital documents with photos and descriptions of your belongings that will provide a reference for insurance agents in the event of a disaster affecting your home. You should make at least one copy of the documents on an external hard drive that you can either place in a fireproof safe or store in your safe deposit box. It may seem like a lot of work now, but giving yourself peace of mind is easily worth the time spent.
Protect your family for the future
You don’t want to concentrate on unfortunate possibilities, but planning for a financial emergency may save you and your family from unnecessary stress. Updating your beneficiaries on insurance
and trust documents
, creating or changing your will, and naming your financial power of attorney are all important steps and will help protect your loved ones in the event you are not there to protect them.Need some help with cleaning up your finances? Contact Us!