The New Year means taking a new look at our finances. The most important thing to make sure you feel like you have the cashflow you need to do the things you want to do. So, let’s set some goals this year to build on last year’s progress and make this year the best year ever!
Build on last year’s budget. Did you spend less in certain categories — like travel, eating out, or entertainment — last year? Maintain some of those cuts and incorporate them into this year’s budget for an amazing ripple effect on other areas of your finances. For example, the money you saved on your weekly Friday night dinner-and-a-movie can be used to pay for an overdue home project or saved up for a real night on the town! Remember that every little bit counts!
Keep money in YOUR pocket! Credit cards definitely have a role to play, particularly for unexpectedly large expenses. If you carried a balance over a few months last year before paying it off (or are still carrying a balance), make it your goal this year to zero your credit cards out each month! Remember: interest accrues throughout the month for many lenders – don’t pay charges you don’t have to!
Got everything squared away? The new year is a perfect time to take a moment to review beneficiaries. In many cases, beneficiaries and addresses can be easily updated online with just a few clicks. Sometimes, you may need to fill out a form – see if it can’t be done using a PDF! This is a simple but very important step. If it’s been awhile, you may be surprised to see who you listed!
Take the next step. Be honest: when was the last time you updated your will? What about any trusts or other legal properties? These documents are critical estate planning tools that can really put your mind at ease. Sure, there’s some time and usually some cost associated with reviewing everything – including a potential meeting with an estate planning attorney, depending on the complexity of your situation – but it’s worth every penny should anything happen!
Plan for the future. The best financial planning includes considers your future. For example, are there any big expenses coming down the pipeline — tuition needs, vacation plans, or major home repairs, perhaps — that you’ll need to pay for? Let’s make sure your financial plan reflects any of these expenses.
By working together, we can make this the best year yet. Contact our office to schedule a time to review your financial plan now.