Spring cleaning your finances has been brought back by popular demand.  I have received many responses via phone calls, e-mails, conversations in department stores, and text messages from individuals sharing their stories.  Many have shared how the topic of Spring cleaning their finances has prompted them to clean the cobwebs off of their financial projects that have been dormant.  However, they continued cleaning until everything in their portfolio was tidy.  I thought I would share at least one of the stories:

 

Revive and execute your strategy:

I will use the name Brenda to describe the person that shared her story.  Brenda held a public service position and retired in March 2016.  She shared that now that she has retired, she revisited her financial plan to ensure that her affairs are in order should anything happen to her.  Brenda shared that her goal is to enjoy retirement and not worry about debt.  She put a 5-year plan in place three years ago that included refinancing her mortgage, paying off her vehicle, and increasing her investments.  Brenda shared with me that she decided to refinance her mortgage for ten years and pay her vehicle loan in full.

A common mistake that some people make is what Brenda had planned to do: roll the balance of her auto loan with her mortgage refinance.  That is not a smart financial move!  Brenda shared that she changed her mind at the last minute and opted to pay her auto loan in full, apart from her mortgage.  Some experts might not agree; however, I agree with her.  If an accident happened and that same vehicle was totaled in an accident, Brenda would still be paying for that vehicle had she rolled the balance in with her mortgage.  Great job, and congratulations, Brenda, on putting a strategic plan in place and working on it.

Other helpful Spring cleaning tips:

1) Re-visit your vision/written plan for your finances—You must keep your plan before you as a reminder of why you’re pursuing financial wellness. Your written plan can also be used as a metric for continued growth.

2)      Boost your investments – meet with your financial adviser to review your portfolio

3) Tidy up your Business—If you are a business owner, ask your accountant or financial planner about a SEP IRA (Self-Employment IRA) and whether opening one would benefit you.

4) Toss out holiday bills—Make every effort to avoid carrying over 2023 Christmas debts into 2025 Christmas debt.

5) Dust off old accounts—Evaluate your reason for opening small accounts in different cities or states. If you have opened and relocated accounts, consider closing them and combining your funds with your local bank or credit union.