Believe it or not, spring is in the air. With most people spending more time at home due to shelter in place orders, this is the perfect time for spring cleaning.
More often than not, spring cleaning is often talked about in terms of your house or personal habits — but your finances can also undergo a dedicated, deep spring clean.
How can you best organize your finances this season? The first step is to get a certified financial planner involved. Keep the vacuum in the closet for a bit longer and concentrate on cleaning up your finances in the following five ways.
A certified financial planner can help organize your finances by consolidating your accounts
The first step to simplifying your financial plan is by consolidating your accounts. Consolidating your accounts into one place is a great way to add organization and ease not only to your financial plan but also to the whole financial process.
In all likelihood, you have income streaming in from many different sources which can add complexity to your financial plan— this where a certified financial planner can help. Consolidating your accounts can help you:
- Understand the full scope of your investments
- Create a better tax plan
- Reduce costly fees and charges
Understanding the full scope of your investments will help you track and visualize all of your investments in one place. It will ensure you aren’t over or under-exposed in certain areas in your portfolio. You will also be able to select investments that meet both your long-term and short-term goals.
Understanding your investments will also make rebalancing and asset allocation simpler because all of your investments live in one place. An example could include the transfer of funds from an old 401k into an IRA.
By consolidating your accounts, you will also be able to create a better, stronger tax plan with your certified financial advisor. With your investments housed in one place, your certified financial planner will be better able to help you implement tax-efficient strategies to your investments.
Last, but certainly not least, you can reduce the risk of added costs and fees by consolidating your accounts. Expensive fees can drag anybody down— especially when they are unnecessary and completely avoidable. When your investments are housed under multiple providers, it can hinder your returns and increase your fees. Consolidating your accounts can create a more effective planning experience that can ultimately save you time and leave you more educated about your financial holdings.
Sweep away old spending habits
It is always hard to admit when something needs to change, but now is as good of a time as any to take another look at how you are spending money. In some ways Coronavirus has helped us to prioritize and cut away excess spending.
Write down what negative spending habits you’ve formed over the years and reevaluate which spending habits to keep and which to throw out.
It’s important to be intentional with your spending. When you spend your money in a way that is reflective of your goals and values, you will be more likely to spend it on the people, places, and things that really matter to you and will help further your goals.
Organize your finances by deep cleaning your budget
First, if you don’t have a budget detailing your monthly expenses, now is the time to create one. It doesn’t have to be fancy, all it needs to include is what you spend monthly and how much each expense costs. This can easily be done in Excel or Google Sheets.
Budgets are living documents that should change and evolve as your needs do. Take some time to sit down and evaluate your current budget. While doing so, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your budget working for you and your financial health?
- What areas need to be changed for you to be able to reach your goals?
- How can you better track your spending and be aware of your budget in practice?
A strong budget leads to more organized finances. After you’ve created a strong budget, re-visit it every month and adjust as needed. A budget is just an estimate, so don’t be afraid to increase or decrease certain areas of spending (just don’t increase any area too much!).
We’ve created a budget spreadsheet to help you evaluate your cash flow.
Triple check your beneficiaries
Life can change in an instant and when those changes happen, it’s vital to have the correct beneficiaries on your accounts. Updating your beneficiaries on your bank, investments, and insurance accounts are important especially as you move into new phases of your life.
While you’re updating your beneficiaries, be sure to select both primary and contingent beneficiaries. Your certified financial planner can help ensure that you haven’t missed anything.
Talk with a certified financial planner
At Platt Wealth Management, we handle your finances as if they were our own so you, your family, and your assets are protected from any unforeseen financial circumstances.
Our certified financial advisors are here to answer any questions you may have about consolidating your accounts, creating budgets, and/or updating the beneficiaries on your accounts.
At Platt Wealth Management, we put our client’s needs first and provide completely transparent services so you are in better control of your financial health. Take some time this year to spring clean your finances and bring back organization and structure to your financial life. Are you ready to take control of your financial health? Give us a call at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review or email us here. Let us help you succeed!