Five Tips for Fairport Clients to Spring Clean Their Finances
With the tax-filing deadline behind us and warmer weather on the way, now is the perfect time for a financial spring cleaning. Please consider the following strategies to get your financial house in order:
1) Organize and Clear Clutter
With tax time over, it is an opportune time to file your past years’ documents, prepare for the next year and shred any old and outdated financial documents. Also, if you have not done so already, consider signing up for electronic delivery for statements and documents from your financial institutions and consider scanning your old documents to be stored electronically as well. This will allow you to clear out clutter in your home or home office while also reducing the amount of paper you receive. Not only that, many financial institutions allow you to retrieve several years of historical financial information online when you sign up for electronic delivery.
2) Review Your Budget
Spring is one of the best times to review your annual budget and to plan for the rest of the year. In many cases you’ve just completed your taxes, you’ve had your annual performance review at work so you’re aware of any changes in compensations and you’ve had the opportunity to see how any federal, state and local tax changes may have affected you. Recognizing all of these changes allows you to sit down to review your monthly expenses, establish what your charitable giving goals may be for the remainder of the year and to double check that you’re still saving enough to meet your financial goals.
3) Check Your Credit Report
Your credit report is one the most important financial records. Your credit score can affect the interest you pay on loans, approval for new loans, the cost of insurance and it can even affect new employment opportunities; therefore, it is very important to check your credit report annually for mistakes and errors that may impact your score. In addition, checking your credit report at least annually can help prevent fraud and identity left. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
4) Review Your Estate Plan and Documents
A lot can change in the matter of a year- a significant career change, an unexpected inheritance causing a change in net worth, a new member of the family whether it be a child or grandchild or even a change in the overall family dynamic. Therefore, it is important to review your estate plan and documents from time to time to make sure that they accomplish the goals you want to achieve from a personal, family and financial perspective.
Consolidating accounts is one of the best ways to simplify your financial situation. Consolidating accounts will give you a clearer picture of your overall financial health, what assets you have, how they are allocated and how much risk you are really taking. Therefore, if you have multiple investment accounts or old employer 401(k)s or other retirement accounts, take a look at consolidating those accounts to make your financial life easier. Also, in the case of older employer 401(k)s or other retirement accounts, consolidating to an IRA makes sense because it expands the investment options available to help meet your long-term financial goals.
While we “don’t do windows,” dust or organize closets, a member of the Fairport team would be happy to help you clean up messy finances. Please contact us if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance with your financial spring cleaning.