Is a financial check-up on this year’s spring cleaning list? You’ve tidied the house and put the finishing touches on the landscaping, but don’t forget to review your finances. Add these five items to your list this year:
Pay Yourself First
Small adjustments can go a long way toward helping to build wealth. Your salary may have changed or you may have new cash flow needs. Review your 401(k) and investment account contribution levels to be sure you are on track to hit your savings goals. Creating a budget can help you to determine how much discretionary income can be diverted to savings.
Review Your Net Worth Statement
A quick review of your balance sheet will help identify stale accounts. Roll over a 401(k) from a former employer, consolidate unnecessary bank accounts, and close accounts that are no longer active. Beneficiary designations should be reviewed to make sure they’re in line with your current wishes. Making these adjustments is the first step in avoiding the lawyer tax.
Check Your Monthly Statements
Automating your bill payments is a step in the right direction, but that does not mean you never have to check them. Make a list of recurring charges and subscriptions. Cancel forgotten subscriptions, on iTunes or elsewhere, for publications you’re not using enough to justify the expense.
Request Your Credit Report
AnnualCreditReport.com is a federally mandated website. You can request one free credit report from each credit-reporting agency (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. Use the report to check for fraudulent account openings or large fluctuations in your credit score, which can be another indicator of fraud. Viewing these reports will limit any surprises if you are preparing to make large purchases in the coming year.
Store And Shred Documents
Review your hard copy filing system to ensure Social Security cards, birth and marriage certificates, passports, and estate plans are stored safely. Digitize your important documents as a backup by scanning or taking pictures of documents and uploading them to your computer. Once your backup system is in place, shred documents that are over three years old.
If this can seem overwhelming, contact us. We provide many of these services as a routine part of the relationship we have with our clients.