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Organizing Your Financial Life

It’s time for a spring cleaning — of your finances

The weather is warming, flowers are blooming, horses are racing, people are socializing — spring is in the air! The arrival of spring also means that it’s time to tidy up our homes, declutter, and spring clean. This season of rejuvenation presents an opportunity to extend our cleaning efforts beyond our home and into a different space: our finances. Just as we spring clean our homes, undergoing a spring financial checkup can bring a renewed sense of financial well-being.

 

Let’s explore some ways we can do some spring cleaning on our financial health:

Clean Up Your Accounts

Having accounts spread across multiple institutions might make your financial house feel disorganized and cluttered. Consider consolidating your accounts for easier access, better transparency, and a clearer understanding of your financial goals.

Example: What about that old 401(k) you had from the job you left five years ago? Is it still sitting there idle? It might be time to consider your options.

Organize Your Financial Records

Organizing financial records is similar to tidying up your home. Take this time to gather and sort your banking statements, investment account statements, bills, tax documents, etc. Develop a system that allows for easy access and ensures you have all the necessary documentation in one place. You’ll thank yourself once tax season rolls around next year.

Example: Do you have several business-related expenses that you write off each year? Create a filing system where you keep all your receipts, mileage logs, etc., so that they’re all in one place when it comes time to file your taxes.

Refresh Your Financial Goals

Remember those New Year’s goals that you made? Yeah…. about those. Reflect on your objectives from the beginning of the year and evaluate your progress. Are you on track to achieve them? Do your goals still align with your current circumstances, or has life thrown you a curve ball? Whether it’s saving for retirement, paying off debt, or investing, make the necessary adjustments and develop a plan to stay on course.

Example: Have you gotten a raise in the last year? Take a look at how much you’re putting away each month for a down payment on a house and see if you can save even more to reach that goal sooner.

Optimize Your Investments

If you are a DIY investor, this may be a good time to review your holdings. Consider consulting with a financial advisor like one of us at Family Financial Partners to ensure that your investments align with your risk tolerance and long-term goals. Remember, periodic and consistent reviews and adjustments are essential for staying on track for financial success.

Example: Is the current market volatility making it stressful to look at your portfolio’s swings? Let us take some of that management off your hands. We can use our decades of experience to make incremental adjustments to your holdings to the best of our ability.

Just like spring cleaning, a financial check-up can be a bit overwhelming at first, but the end result will be a cleaner, more organized financial life. By incorporating these habits into your yearly routine, you will develop a healthier financial mindset and make better-informed decisions that can help lead to long-term financial well-being. So, grab a cup of coffee, put on some music, and start your spring financial check-up — your financial future will thank you later.

Feel free to contact me or anyone else on our team for a free consultation; we’d love to help walk you through this year’s spring cleaning.

Article by Jacob Buckley, MBA, Wealth Advisor at Family Financial Partners — a financial services firm in Lexington, Kentucky.

Download our financial planning checklist here.

Fall Financial Fitness: The Basic 5 Checklist

As we fall back into financial fitness this month, we’re focusing on ways to get (or stay) on track financially for the rest of the year. This week, we’re going to layout a basic 5-step financial checklist that we believe everyone should use to guide their financial life. If you can’t check them all off, then let’s get to work!

Organizing Your Financial Life

We all know a few of those people who are meticulous about organizing things, right? Some people’s closets are color coordinated, and some people have every box and Rubbermaid bin in their home labeled, categorized and stored in the order of how often they’re needed. Remind you of anyone? The truth is, this makes it easy for these folks to understand what they have, where it is, and what purpose it serves in their home.

5 Financial Assumptions to Let Go

For those of you reading this who already work with our team, thanks! We always appreciate your business and your referrals. If you’re reading this and you don’t work with us yet, I want to address some of the common misconceptions that keep people from picking up the phone and scheduling their complimentary first meeting with us. 

Why Pay for a Financial Professional?

After two decades in this business, one of the most common questions I hear is, why should someone hire a financial advisor? Why should someone pay for this service that my team provides? These questions frequently come from DIY investors who work part-time as their own advisor, whether or not that’s something they’re trained for (it never is). 

3 Stages of Emergency Funds

When it comes to how much you should save up in your emergency fund, there’s all kinds of advice available out there about this topic. We’re not going to waste either of our time – go ahead and Google it! I guarantee you that, based on that search and how conservative you are or aren’t, the answer to that question is going to be different. That’s the beauty of Google – they learn the personality of the person searching and give you the information you want to hear.

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We all know holidays are busy, and the last thing you want to think about is money stuff. I get it. I’d much rather be shopping for ugly Christmas sweaters and eating way too many holiday treats. But trust me – taking care of these four things today will make the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 much less stressful.

Give the Gift of Financial Planning

Every year at Thanksgiving, it’s tradition in our home to take a few minutes and go around the table so everyone can share what they’re thankful for. We know that this year – probably more than last year – you’ll be getting together with your families for the holiday. For some, it may be the first time seeing them in quite a while. 

Fall Financial Fitness: What You Save

We’ve been exploring financial fitness over the last few weeks, and taking a look at the three main areas that affect your financial wellness – what you earn, what you spend, and what you save. First, we covered different approaches to income and how to align your goals with what you’re bringing in. Then, we talked about taking an honest look at how and where you’re spending your money. Today, we’re going to explore our final aspect of financial health – what you save. 

Fall Financial Fitness: What You Earn

Over the next three weeks, we’re going to be talking about financial fitness and the three primary areas that comprise your financial health – what you earn, what you spend, and what you save. It’s important to take a close look and consider each of these financial buckets at least once a year to ensure you’re on the best financial footing for your life.

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