Spring is the time of year that may have you thinking about getting your house in order. While this may mean dusting the shelves and decluttering, you should also consider cleaning up your finances.
1. Declutter Your Accounts
As the years go by, you may have accumulated accounts that you no longer use. For example, accounts such as an old checking account or a retirement plan from a previous employer that could be consolidated into another account. Having forgotten or dormant accounts could lead to additional fees and other issues. Now is a good time to close or consolidate unused accounts.
2. Create or Update Your Estate Plan
Although this is a sensitive topic, an estate plan is a very important aspect of your finances. If you don't already have one, this is a good time to think about where you would like your assets to go once you pass. If you already have an estate plan in place, now is a good time to review it and ensure that the beneficiaries you have chosen are up to date with your current wishes. It's also important for your loved ones to know where your legal documents are and who to contact should you become incapacitated or you pass away.
3. Set Bills to Autopay
For your regular monthly bills, you may want to set up automatic payment with the vendor or use the BillPay system provided through your bank. This can help to avoid late payments and therefore additional fees.
4. Automate Savings
After determining how much of your income goes toward your living expenses, consider setting up direct deposit for some of your income to go straight to your savings account. Also, ensure that your emergency fund has 3 to 6 months' worth of living expenses in case the unexpected happens.
5. Organize Paperwork
Go through old documents and shred anything you do not need. In most cases, documents can be shredded after 3 years, but loan records and tax returns should be kept for 7 years.
If you have questions or need help with anything listed above, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team.