Spring clean your finances before your house

03/25/2021

 

With the arrival of Spring, many of us are ready to make changes to our living areas from deep cleaning to major improvements or upgrades.  This is the time of year is when everyone gets in the mood to make changes.
 
What is one of the most likely areas that needs a little Spring cleaning?
For everyone is likely their budget, whether you just started it this year or have been using one for many years, no budget is ever static. We all experience life changes that include changes in our financial situation from adjustments to our salary to the cost of living. Regularly redoing your budget with these new factors will help you make better decisions.
 
How are loans or credit cards part of this annual financial clean-up?
Not only do loan and credit card rates change constantly but so does one’s ability to qualify for lower rates. Often initial rates are based on your FICO score and if your score has improved, this is a great time to see if you can lower the rate on any of your loans. This could mean lower payments and help you have better monthly cash flow.
 
What is an area that is often overlooked and should get more attention?
Many times we hear about the need to rebalance our investment portfolios and most people assume that doesn’t apply to them. However, anyone who has a 401k or other work sponsored investment program needs to consider this move because it is so important to have proper diversification in your accounts. Over time as investments perform differently, a large portion of your funds could be in one particular investment and that would mean your diversification strategy isn’t working.
 
Are there any estate planning items that should be part of this Spring cleaning effort?
The most important are related to changes in your family situation, if you have gotten married, divorced, added children – then you should make sure you have updated your will and also updated your beneficiaries on your investments and life insurance. Many people forget this important step and it can cause major problems later.
 
Are any of these activities really time consuming?
Almost any of these activities can be completed within 30 minutes or less and the ones that might take longer, like refinancing your mortgage, will be well worth the effort. Most of these “chores” can be completed online and don’t have to be done even at regular hours so that makes it even more convenient to do your financial Spring cleaning and not disrupt spending time enjoying the nice weather.

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