Tag: personal finance

How to Live Your Values

Published in: Resources |

At The Humphreys Group, we talk a lot about values, and encourage our clients and community members to live their values each and every day. But what does that really mean? What exactly are core values, and how does one “live them”?

At their most basic, core values can be defined as principles, qualities or energies that make you feel fulfilled. There is no one specific set of values that each individual should have; your guiding values are as unique to you as your favorite band or your favorite smoothie recipe.

Although we may not all share the same set of values, one thing we do have in common is that when we live our values, we are much more likely to feel aligned, fulfilled and at peace with ourselves. That’s why it’s extremely important to understand what your core values are, and orient your daily life around them.

Discovering your values means you’ll need to get introspective and do a little bit of soul-searching. Start by grabbing a pen and paper and taking the time to contemplate a few questions.

  1. Have you ever experienced a moment so fulfilling that you felt more like you than you ever had before? What have been some of those moments? Maybe one was when you found out you were pregnant. Perhaps one was the day you graduated from law school. Or maybe, one was a random Tuesday afternoon when you went out to lunch with a friend and had an amazing conversation. Try not to choose moments based on society’s narrative, but rather consider any occasions where you felt like the most authentic version of yourself.
  2. Now that you have a few of these ultra-fulfilling moments jotted down, reflect on why these experiences were so fulfilling, rich and meaningful for you. Look at these moment through a value based lens. If one of your peak moments was taking a vacation with your significant other, maybe that signifies that a core value for you is adventure, or maybe partnership. If you cherish the memory of a conversation with a loved one, maybe you value communication and connectivity.
  3. Once you have begun to think deeply about what you value, try to compile a list of at least 3 core values that you’d like to incorporate more into your day-to-day life, and brainstorm ways you can express these values through your daily actions. For example, if your values are service, leadership, and creativity, maybe you volunteer for a leadership position at your local community center. Perhaps you organize a team wine and paint night at work. Or maybe you organize a compost program in your apartment building.
  4. After you’ve come up with a list of values and brainstormed ways to incorporate them into your daily life, be sure to continue to check in with yourself. Keep a journal and assess your progress. Track how these subtle but actionable shifts are making you feel.

At The Humphreys Group, we know that living your values feels fulfilling because we practice living our values each day. We value our community, our clients, and the environment, and by becoming a B Corp, we have shown our public that we’re not just talking the talk — we’re walking the walk.

If you’re interested in learning more about the B Corp certification and how it impacts The Humphreys Group, get in touch today!

 

Money Tips for New Parents

Published in: Resources |

Becoming a parent is an undeniably exciting time. It’s also an undeniably expensive one. From car seats and diapers, to baby food and childcare, the list of expenses seems never-ending. However, just like any large financial commitment, a little planning can go a long way. Here are some key considerations and planning tips for new or expecting parents.

Budget, budget, budget 

We don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but we can’t stress the importance of budgeting enough, especially when the financial commitment is as expensive and longterm as a child. First, come up with a list of all the new expenses you will be responsible for between now and the time your child is an adult. While you don’t need to have college tuition saved up by the time your little one is walking, it certainly helps to consider longterm costs early on. Try breaking expenses down annually. The first year, you might factor in medical bills, a crib, a diaper stash, a breast pump, and baby clothes, among other things. The second year, your budget might cut down on the medical bills, but tack on childcare. By year 10, maybe you’re thinking about back-to-school clothes, after-school soccer, and art classes. Again, you don’t need to panic if you don’t have the extra money lying around to pay for year 10 expenses at the time of birth, but thinking about them early on and planning accordingly can make a massive impact on your preparedness when the time eventually does come.

Once you’ve thought through the costs associated with your child, start comparing the annual budget to your existing budget. Chances are you’re going to be spending significantly more money now that you have an additional human in your care, and it’s likely that you’ll need to make adjustments elsewhere in your budget to compensate for the new spending. Maybe it’s time to stop coloring your hair each month, or maybe it means packing a lunch instead of eating out every day. Whatever your new budget looks like, it’s important to be prepared to face your evolving financial reality.

Build up your rainy day fund

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that a rainy day fund is a necessity. Emergencies can and do happen, and it’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared. While the thought of losing your job or getting sick and not being able to support yourself is always nerve-wracking, it’s especially daunting when you have children who rely on you. Aim to put 6-12 months of living expenses into an emergency fund as a comfortable cushion to fall back on in a time of need.

Add your child to your insurance policy

For most health insurance plans, you will have between 30 and 60 days from the date of birth or finalized adoption to add your new child to your health insurance policy. It’s worth doing a little research into various policies and premiums as you consider your new situation. In some cases, it might be worth jumping up to the next level of coverage and paying a higher premium, as you’ll likely be visiting the doctor more frequently with a little one on your hands. In two-parent dual-income households, it might be more cost-effective to keep one parent on a solo coverage plan, while adding children to the other parent’s “employee with children” plan. In any case, doing your due diligence and taking the time to compare your options can end up saving you money.

Start a college fund

The longer you save, the more money you’re likely to have when it’s time for your kid(s) to pursue higher education. State-sponsored 529 plans are ideal, as they allow students to make tax-free withdrawals for tuition and other relevant expenses, as well as offer financial aid advantages. Most 529 plans offer automatic investment options, where money is transferred from your bank account to the 529 plan, and some even offer contributions through payroll deduction. Additionally, some states offer parents tax breaks on their contributions to 529 accounts.

The Humphreys Group can help

There is a lot to consider when you’re a new or soon-to-be-new parent, and we understand that while it’s exciting, it’s likely a little stressful, too. If you’d like a second set of eyes on your financial plan as you begin to factor in your new family, consider scheduling a free consultation with a member of our team.

 

How to Establish Good Credit

Published in: Resources |

Let’s discuss the mythical credit score… There are countless rumors floating around in the ether about credit scores, from ‘don’t check your score, it will negatively impact your credit,’ to ‘married couples have a joint credit score,’ to ‘the better your job, the better your score!’ While a sizable chunk of the information we read online or hear from our colleagues regarding credit scores can (and should) be disregarded, there is no denying that your credit score is an important number with serious implications.

To start with, let’s break down how credit scores are calculated. According to FICO, there are five key factors that are considered to determine a credit score.

  1. Payment history (35%): Have you paid off your credit card balances, and were the payments made on time?
  2. Amounts owed (30%):  Your credit utilization rate — what percentage of your credit limit are you using?
  3. Length of credit history (15%): How long have you had credit? This includes any and all lines of credit you have had over the course of your life.
  4. Credit mix (10%): Do you have a variety of credit products? This could include credit cards, mortgage loans, installment loans, finance company accounts, etc.
  5. New credit (10%): How often do you apply for new lines of credit or open new accounts?

Now that you’re familiar with the key factors that determine a credit score, we’ll walk through three steps you can take immediately to get your credit score on the right track — and bust some credit myths while we’re at it.

  1. Pay down your balance

Pay your credit card bill on time, and pay it in full. This may seem like a no-brainer, but seeing as 35% of your overall score is based on your payment history, we can’t stress enough how important it is. Did you know that not only do creditors look at how much you owe, but they also look at how much you owe in comparison to how much credit you have available? Try to keep this rate, known as your credit utilization rate, under 30%. That is to say, if your credit limit is $10,000, you should never have more than $3,000 charged at a time.

  1. Increase your credit limit

Piggy backing off of tip #1, the larger your credit limit, the easier it should be to keep your credit utilization rate below 30%. If you’re frequently charging over 30% of your limit to your credit card, consider asking for a credit increase. It’s critical to remember, though, just because you have a higher limit does not mean you should start spending more.

  1. Open a new account

Contrary to the belief of some, having multiple lines of credit can be a positive thing. For instance, if you wish to increase your credit limit, but your credit card issuer declines to grant additional credit, applying for a new card through a different issuer will still get you to that higher overall credit limit. As your utilization rate is based on all your open lines of credit and balances rather than on each individual credit card, you could still succeed in lowering your overall utilization rate. Do keep in mind though that if you plan to open additional lines of credit, they should be spaced out. Opening too many new accounts at once can negatively impact your score.

Remember, credit is a tool, and it’s meant to be used. Don’t be afraid of credit, be smart about it! If you’re displeased with your credit score, remember that there are ways to boost it, it just takes a little time, patience, strategy, and willpower. If you have questions about your credit rating, reach out to our team!

 

Teaching Your Kids about Personal Finance

Published in: Resources |
As parents, we all want what is best for our children, and that involves setting them up with a strong foundation and the proper tools to succeed on their own. Part of this foundation includes teaching them financial stability and making sure that they understand the value of money, as well as how to handle their personal finances. Here are some key ways to ensure that your children, no matter their age, are set up to succeed when it comes to money.
Lead by example
Your children are always watching, so it’s critical to set a good example. Be mindful of the little things, like how often you pay with a credit card or the impulse purchases you make. Chances are, your children will follow your example and develop habits based off of your actions.
Forget allowance – try commission
Instead of just forking over cash each week as an allowance, why not teach your children the value of working for their money? Come up with a list of household chores, like doing laundry, mowing the lawn, or taking out the garbage, and pay them based on the tasks they complete. This will help them to understand that money is not given, it’s earned.
Teach them how to budget
Paying your children a commission-based allowance that corresponds to the chores they complete is also a fantastic way to introduce them to budgeting. Sit them down and explain that the money they earn from their allowance will be the only money they get. That means that if they want to go to the movies with their friends, buy a new video game, and pick out a dress for the upcoming homecoming dance, they will need to plan accordingly and budget based on their priorities.
Save, save, save
It’s important to teach kids that money is not just for spending, it’s for saving. While it will likely be difficult to teach young children the concept of saving for the future, starting small is still a step in the right direction. For example, if your young child asks for a toy, sit them down and explain that they can save up for it. As they get older, the prize will likely get bigger and bigger, from a bike, to a spring break trip, to college tuition, and beyond. 
Highlight the importance of giving back
Almost as important as teaching your kids the importance of saving is teaching them the importance of giving. A great way to introduce the concept is by matching their allowance. For every dollar they earn, set aside a dollar for them to give to charity. Once they have a decent sum of money saved up, sit down together and choose a charitable organization to donate the money to.
Teach them the ABCs of finance – credit cards, debt, loans, etc.
School prepares our children to take on the world, but unfortunately, many young adults graduate high school still not fully understanding the world of finance. They may learn compound interest in math class, or how to calculate a tip for a waiter, but understanding debt, credit, loans, etc., is a whole different ball game. Be sure to explain the difference between a debit card and a credit card. Point out the dangers of taking on too much debt, as well as the difference between good and bad debt. Teach them about loans, including the interest you commit to when you take out a loan. Knowledge is power, so set your kids up to be powerful.
At The Humphreys Group, we understand that you’re leading by example. Educating your children about personal finance is not something that happens overnight, but if you chip away at it little by little, you will set your children up with strong habits that will serve them long into the future. Want to continue the conversation about instilling positive financial habits and leading by example when it comes to money? Reach out to our team today.

 

How To Combat Financial Procrastination

Published in: Resources |

Have you ever wondered to yourself why it is that you procrastinate on important or difficult tasks? One would think that we’d want to get these unpleasant sources of anxiety out of the way, yet we have a tendency to hold off on them until the eleventh hour. Luckily, according to a New York Times article, procrastination isn’t necessarily a sign that we are lazy or have limited self-control, but rather “it may be due to something inherently unpleasant about the task itself… [or] from deeper feelings related to the task, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety or insecurity.”

By this logic, it makes sense that when it comes to finances, people commonly hold off until the last minute to take care of business. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips to stop procrastinating on difficult money questions.

     1. Just get started

The toughest part of tackling any task is oftentimes just finding the motivation to get started. Take writing an essay. Was there ever a time in college when you put a paper off until the last minute? It’s likely that this was due, in part, to the impending anxiety you felt when you thought about this project. Once you finally took 5-10 minutes to sit down and brainstorm an outline, however, you probably felt significantly better about your progress, didn’t you? Just ripping off the bandaid and getting started on a project is sometimes all it takes to get the wheels rolling. Your finances are no different. Most of us dread looking at our credit card bill, double checking the charges, and making the necessary payments, but as soon as we take the first step and open the envelope, one of the hardest parts—the anxiety of getting started—is behind us.

     2. You probably won’t feel any more ready tomorrow than you do today

How many times have you stared at the overflowing laundry basket and thought, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” only for tomorrow to come, and the cycle to repeat itself? When it comes to procrastinating on money-related tasks, odds are that you’re putting them off as a coping mechanism so that you won’t have to confront potentially stressful financial realities head on, but putting them off will likely just make them worse. As the saying goes, why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? You’ll thank yourself tomorrow.

     3. Break your goals into manageable chunks

Another reason we sometimes procrastinate is because we bite off more than we can chew by setting goals that are too big. More often than not, these big goals are accompanied by even bigger anxiety, as it can be stressful to know where to even begin on your journey to achieving them. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t set big goals, however. It just means that there is a better approach. Say you want to plan for retirement. “Plan for retirement” is a smart goal, but in order to achieve it, you need to set yourself up with attainable actionable steps. For example, one goal under the “plan for retirement” umbrella could be to talk with your employer about your company’s 401K. Another could be to set aside $50 from each paycheck in a separate savings account. Smaller, more attainable goals are less intimidating than a single large goal. And yet, if you combine a few smaller goals, ultimately you’ll end up reaching that large goal after all.

One thing we can probably all agree on is that procrastination doesn’t feel good. We’re not all sitting around trying to procrastinate, but sometimes we just don’t know how to get out of the rut or over the hump. At The Humphreys Group, we’re here to help you end financial procrastination. If you’re interested in working with a financial advisor to set your financial plans in motion today, schedule a complimentary introductory call with us. Together, we can forge a path to reach your financial goals.

 

Preparing Your Finances for a Return to the Workplace

Published in: Resources |

As the days grow longer, our children’s school years draw to an end, and we start to incorporate sunscreen into our daily skincare routines again, change is in the air. After months and months of commuting from the bedroom to the living room couch or to the kitchen table for work, many of us are facing the prospect of returning to the office for the first time in over a year. Once the norm, making the switch to being surrounded by colleagues in a communal workplace now feels like a strange concept for many of us. As we creep towards some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the changes that have taken place in our lives and to check in on how we are doing.

Part of checking in on ourselves includes taking the time to analyze our financial wellness, taking into consideration any new money habits that may have formed over the course of the pandemic. After all, just as we had to make adjustments to live life in quarantine, we now need to transition out of it. Here are some steps you can take to better prepare your finances for your return to the workplace.

Analyze where you’re at

It’s always important to take stock of your finances and evaluate where you’re at, but after the last year and a half of economic uncertainty, it’s especially wise. Revisit your retirement plan, your estate plan, your emergency fund, and your portfolio. Set new goals based on any personal or professional changes that have occurred over the course of the pandemic.

Create a new budget

As we begin to leave our homes more and more frequently, our spending habits are bound to change. We might find ourselves spending more money on gas, paying to send our kids back to childcare, footing the bill for public transportation to and from work, buying coffee from the drive-through at lunch, or stocking up on some new work slacks to give the yoga pants we’ve been wearing all pandemic a break. Assess your new financial responsibilities and shift your budget accordingly.

Keep up with any newfound positive financial habits

Remember all the positive financial habits that formed during quarantine? Why not keep up the momentum? Our spending patterns have changed dramatically over the course of the pandemic, from shifts away from spending money on entertainment and travel, to dining out less. While it’s exciting to be able to pop by your favorite local restaurant for a a glass of iced tea and that delicious veggie flatbread you’ve been craving, try to keep cooking at home most evenings. Instead of blowing money going to the movies each week, take a hike outside or spend time to the beach. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to get outside, just remember when you were cooped up at home for months on end.

At The Humphreys Group, we’re passionate about helping women harness their natural financial strengths through the good times, as well as the difficult ones. Reach out to our team today to learn more about creating a personalized financial plan.

 

How to Choose a Financial Advisor

Published in: Resources |

Coming off of an extremely topsy-turvy and uncertain year last year, many people are thinking about money more than they were during pre-pandemic times. From layoffs and pay cuts to hospital bills, our financial situations have been front and center in our minds lately. As we begin to regain a sense of normalcy, it’s a great time to think about your finances and get your money organized. One smart step toward financial preparedness is to work with a financial advisor.

Financial advisors seem to be everywhere these days, so finding one won’t necessarily be hard. The tricky part is finding the right one. With so many options, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. However, doing your due diligence in carefully selecting the advisor that is right for you is critical to your financial future. Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for your ideal financial advisor.

Choosing a financial advisor starts with you

The first step in your hunt for the perfect financial advisor is to check in with yourself. Look at your values and your priorities, your dreams and aspirations. When it comes to finding the right advisor, it’s important to make sure their values align with your own. Putting pen to paper early on and making a list of the things that are important to you when it comes to your finances will help you weed out the professionals who aren’t right for you.

Consider your financial goals

Assess your personal and financial goals, your assets, and your liabilities. Why do you want to work with a financial advisor and what do you hope to gain from it? Are you looking for help investing? Are you trying to set up an educational fund or a trust for future generations? Do you need help planning for retirement? Different financial advisors specialize in different areas. It’s important to figure out precisely what you require a financial advisor for in order to sort out which advisors may be a better fit than others.

Look at your options

A great place to start when it comes to looking for a financial advisor is by asking friends and family for referrals. If someone you know and trust is able to vouch for an advisor, chances are they are worth looking into. Otherwise, the internet is always a helpful tool. Look at the financial advisor’s credentials, check their online reviews, and study their website so that you have a solid understanding of what they’re all about. Once you have found a few different advisors who look like they might be a good fit, take the time to interview them. Schedule introductory calls or meetings to discuss their services in regards to your needs.

Consider the cost

An important component to keep in mind during your search is payment. Look at your own budget to realistically determine how much you can afford to spend on financial advisory services. Also, keep in mind how the advisor gets paid. Do they earn commission or are they fee only? Commission based financial advisors make money by earning commission from third parties, while fee-only advisors earn money from the fees you pay for their services, which are typically charged as flat annual rates, hourly rates, or percentages of the assets they manage for you. While you shouldn’t necessarily rule out an advisor based on how they get paid, it’s important to understand what it means, both for the service you should expect and the fees you will pay.

Just like no two financial situations are identical, no financial advisor is one-size-fits-all. Taking the time to assess your values, goals, aspirations, and dreams is absolutely critical to your financial planning process. At The Humphreys Group, our individualized financial plans are tailored to our clients’ specific situations, as well as their goals and dreams. We are experienced planners and intelligent investors who are constantly emphasizing the importance of clients’ living their values. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.

 

 

When Should You Start to Think About Succession

Published in: Resources |

One of Franklin Covey’s famed ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is to begin with the end in mind, and succession planning, or the strategy of identifying and preparing future company leaders for advancement, should be no different.

Succession planning is an extremely important aspect of preparing for the future of a company, as it creates focus on long-term success, disaster-proofs your business and various leadership roles, and helps to create employment longevity with opportunities for growth.

Keeping succession in mind early on is especially critical for female executives, partially because women are much more likely to leave their jobs for personal or family reasons. Early planning ensures that a company will have plenty of time to carefully prepare, weigh out possible scenarios, and groom leaders for higher level roles. So how can you, as a female executive, prepare for succession? Here are some things to consider.

Think about succession during the hiring process

It may seem premature to keep succession in mind as you interview entry level candidates, but it’s helpful to look for leadership potential early on in order to set your company up for future success. Ask yourself what your business goals are and visualize the future you want for your company. Does this entry level candidate have a place in that picture?

Cultivate open communication about future plans

The best succession plan is one that is fluid, flexible, and continually contemplated. Make succession a topic of discussion. Schedule an annual or even semiannual meeting to discuss leadership positions and potential candidates with members of your senior leadership team, as well as with any stakeholders. Take the time to examine your current workforce and map out any potential gaps that would open up if a current staff member was to retire or seek a new job. Fill the gaps prematurely by keeping a pool of qualified and dedicated team members on your staff.

Ease your successor into the role

Once you have singled out potential successors, give them opportunities to show what they’re capable of. If a member of the leadership team is taking a vacation for example, pass some responsibilities to the potential successor. You will be able to gauge where they are at, performance-wise, as well as learn which areas they might need to be more heavily trained in.

Learning a new role and new responsibilities doesn’t happen over night. The sooner you start brainstorming and planning for succession, the better for everyone involved.

At The Humphreys Group, we understand the unique challenges of a transition, and welcome these challenges with a deep commitment to providing you with a comfortable, collaborative setting to explore your concerns and follow your dreams. We help you plan with purpose. Reach out today for a complimentary, obligation-free consultation.

 

Changing Careers, Pandemic Edition

Published in: Resources |

The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of people in uncomfortable positions job-wise. Some were forced to work remotely from noisy or too-cramped family apartments, while others put their health at risk as frontline workers, likely wishing they could stay home. Some were furloughed and temporarily lost a sense of purpose, while others were laid off altogether and scrambled to find new opportunities and income streams.

No matter what we went through, we all went through something, leading many of us to question our careers. For some, it was a wake up call to live their lives to the fullest extent, rather than wasting time in a role they’re unhappy in. For others, it showed the necessity of a consistent, secure job with steady income.

Whatever the reason, making a career change is a big deal, and it should be treated as such. Rather than making a snap decision, take time to ask yourself some serious questions, look at the logistics, and try to view the bigger picture. Here are four steps you should be prepared to take if you’re considering a career change.

1. Ask the hard questions

The first step is getting real with yourself. Look internally and ask yourself some difficult questions:

Are you unhappy with your career, or just with your job? If you’re unhappy with your job, maybe you should consider changing companies or looking for a different position, rather than shifting industries altogether.

Are you fed up with your career? Or is it possible that you just don’t like working during a pandemic? How did you feel about your job before the pandemic? If you were happy in your job, there’s a chance that your consideration of a career switch has been triggered by the difficulty of adjusting to remote work.

How are you feeling emotionally and mentally?  If you’re not in a good head space, you’re more likely to make snap decisions. Additionally, the pandemic has taken a hit on many people’s mental health. Are you prepared to deal with the potential emotional stress of dealing with a pandemic and a career change at the same time?

2. Look at the logistics…and ask some more questions

If you have spent some time seriously mulling over whether or not you want to change careers and have concluded that you do, the next step is looking at things logistically, and subsequently asking yourself more questions:

Are you financially prepared to change careers? Making a career change has the potential to be expensive. Consider whether or not you’ll need to go to school and how much tuition will be. You’ll likely have to spend some time in an internship role, which may or may not be paid. Additionally, you’ll probably have to take a pay cut. Are you financially prepared to support yourself and your family during the shift?

What does the industry you’re aspiring to enter look like in the long-term? Some industries were hit especially hard during the pandemic. If you’re dreaming of opening a brunch cafe, consider the risk that comes with working in the hospitality industry. If you want to be a flight attendant, consider that, with fewer people traveling, there is likely not a huge need for flight crew hirees.

3. Make a plan

If you’ve done the soul-searching, had the difficult conversations with yourself, and are ready to make a career change, it’s time to come up with a plan. Include defined career goals, as well as small steps you will take to reach them. Put together a budget, as you’ll likely have to fall back on savings for a while. Network, network, network. Utilize your existing network, but be prepared to get outside of your comfort zone and talk with people in the field you’re aspiring to enter.

4. Take the leap

Once you’ve come up with a solid plan, the only thing left to do is take the leap. You’ve made it this far, and now it’s time to trust yourself and your instincts. Accept that this part of the journey will likely be the hardest part, and trust the process.

At The Humphreys Group, we help women in transition to take hold of their financial situation. Our planning process has a single purpose: to manage your wealth so that you may live fully and confidently – in possibility. We are devoted to seeing you thrive, both financially and personally. Reach out today for a consultation.

 

Spring Clean Your Finances

Published in: Resources |

 

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.