Are you feeling a little over-whelmed with the paper piles or credit card bills now coming in from Christmas spending? You are NOT alone! How you organize your finances in January will prove beneficial by the time Christmas rolls around in December.
Start organizing your finances by purging the paper piles. Keep the essentials like tax returns, year-end investment statements, insurance policies, active deeds and deed of sales. After one year, most statements may go to the shred pile, unless of course you’re planning on buying a house, you’ll want to keep two years of bank statements (unless you can retrieve these online). Shred what documents you no longer need and clean up the clutter.
After the purge, look into updating and consolidating other accounts. What money might you be throwing out the window.
- Look at your credit cards, would it be beneficial to consolidate a few? Choose a card which has the lowest interest rate or best loyalty benefits, but make sure there isn’t a balance-transfer fee prior to shifting monies.
- Check your current mortgage rate. Would it benefit you to refinance your home with a much lower rate?
- Update the beneficiaries on your insurance policies and retirement accounts if needed.
- Look into getting new quotes for your car, home, and life insurance policies, it might benefit you to make a few changes in 2019.
- Create or update your will.
- Check your credit score. You may check your credit online without impacting your credit score. However, you are only allowed one free copy per credit bureau per year.
- Check your fees on phone, cable, internet, and other bills to see if there are services you don’t use.
After updating and consolidating, sit down and create a budget and commit to it.
- Calculate both your monthly income and expenditures.
- Separate your fixed expenditures from your variable expenditures.
- Break down your monthly finances into what you want to spend and what you need to spend.
- Set a financial goal of what you want to save each month.
- Now set a financial goal for your future.
- Track your spending. After each week, evaluate your spending and if you need to make some changes in order to reach your monthly saving’s goal.
Evaluating your bills can save you money. Also, if you can arrange all of your bills to be directly debited, do it! This will save you from forgetting a bill’s due date and incurring additional late fees.
Make your monthly savings a fixed, non-negotiable expense regardless of the amount. Six month’s income saved is often cited as a good starting point, which means you are well covered for whatever life may throw you financially.
Taking stock of 2018’s life changes, such as a move, marriage/divorce, new baby, or change in job will better equip you when rebalancing investments and budgeting for 2019.
No matter how much money you have or don’t have, it’s what you do with it that’s important. When you organize your finances, you will feel better in control of your future. Make it your plan to be financially organized in 2019!
At HFG Wealth Management, we embrace a method of financial planning known as Financial Life Planning™. We believe this is a financially effective and personally rewarding approach to creating a practical, lasting financial plan. As financial professionals using the life planning approach, our purpose is to assist individuals, families and businesses in creating a long-term vision that is consistent with their core values. At HFG, we recognize that life events and life transitions can impact your financial responsibilities and your vision of the future. We are here to provide you with tips and strategies to get you started and help you reach your financial and life goals at every stage. For more information, please visit www.hfgwm.com or call 832.585.0110.
“The information contain herein is general in nature and may not be suitable for everyone. We encourage you to give us a call, to discuss your specific situation and to help determine the appropriate course of action.