While many of us think of spring cleaning as a way to tidy up the garage and declutter our homes, it's also a good time to take a closer look at our finances.
Just like a cluttered space can cause stress and anxiety, so can disorganized or unmanaged finances. However, with a little effort and some spring cleaning, you can get your finances in order and feel more in control of your money.
Take a fresh look and clean up these five things at least once a year.
- Set financial goals
Goalsetting is the first step in making dreams into reality. Think about what you want to achieve and write it down. If you already have goals in place, revisit them annually and make sure they are still aligned with your current situation. It's important to set goals that are realistic and achievable. Whether it's investing more for retirement, saving for education or paying off debt, setting specific financial goals can keep you focused on the bigger picture.
- Review your household budget
If you don’t have a household budget yet, start now by creating one. A simple spreadsheet can help you track income and expenses. Once you have a budget in place, it needs regular upkeep to account for continual changes like unexpected expenses, salary raises or bonuses. Major life events like a divorce or having a baby will have a big impact on your budget. Additionally, changes in tax law or changes in your tax bracket could have an impact as well.
- Evaluate your investment portfolio
Take a look at your investment portfolio and see if there are any changes you need to make. Are you taking on too much risk? Do you need to diversify your investments? Talk to your financial advisor to ensure you’re making the most of your investments.
- Organize your financial documents
Make sure you have all your important financial documents in one place, such as tax returns, bank statements, and investment account statements. This is also a great time to review beneficiaries and trusted contacts to keep them up to date.
- Plan for taxes
While taxes are a year-round concern, spring is a good time to start planning for next year's taxes. Review your tax return from the previous year and see if there are any deductions or credits you missed. Meet with a tax professional to discuss ways you can reduce your tax liability for the upcoming year.
These are just a few steps you should be taking every year to keep your finances in order. By reviewing and organizing your finances on a regular basis, you can build momentum toward broader life goals and seize opportunities to save and invest.
If you have questions, we’re here to support you. Reach out to us any time for comprehensive financial advice.