Spring is here at last, and with it comes the usual flurry of spring cleaning. This year, be sure to dust off your finances, too! Here are five steps you can take today to tidy up your finances.
1. Look at your budget and adjust as needed.
Look at your existing budget and then compare it to your spending from the last year. Are the two aligned? Or are there obvious discrepancies that jump out at you? Adjust as necessary. A budget is a great way to help keep yourself on track financially, but it only works if you’re honest with yourself about where your money is going. Additionally, if you don’t have a budget, make one! A budget is a priceless tool for tracking expenses and pursuing financial milestones.
2. Put an end to spending habits that no longer serve you.
While reviewing your budget, if you notice spending habits that you’re unhappy with, take note of them. Is the majority of your paycheck going to your rent? Then it might be time to reassess your living situation. Are you eating out a lot? Try limiting yourself to twice a week. There is no time like the present to live within your means and kick bad spending habits.
3. Look at your late payments and debts. Make a plan for how to pay them off.
If you’re behind on payments or late on repaying debt, come up with a solid plan for how to make these payments. Reference your budget. Are there financial sacrifices you can make so that you have the proper funds to pay off your debts? Perhaps you cancel that gym membership that you hardly use, or maybe you skip an upcoming weekend of wine tasting. Sure, it’s not fun to sacrifice expenses such as these, but getting ahead of your debt will benefit you tremendously in the long run.
4. Take a “financial inventory.”
Sometimes, we have so much going on that it can be easy to let little pieces slip through the cracks. Unfortunately, those little pieces can have a big impact. Look at all of your accounts, lines of credit, debts, etc., and organize them. Make a master list of your finances. Create a Google calendar to remind yourself of any repeat payments, upcoming bills, or credit card due dates.
5. Assess your financial goals.
Finally, envision your goals, financial and otherwise. What is it going to take to make those goals a reality? Have a you been dreaming of going back to school? What does that entail? How will you pay for it? Or maybe you’ve decided you want to take a year-long sabbatical. How much money will you need to have saved up? Are there ways you can start setting aside money now?
At The Humphreys Group, we invest time in really getting to know your needs, values, and desires to develop personalized financial plans that will evolve with you during your life. For assistance “spring cleaning” your finances, get in touch with us today.