It is not quite Spring yet here in Michigan, but it has been such a mild winter, my internal clock is ticking early this year.
The personal financial habit that I’ve developed over the past 7 years is to preform a personal financial clean-up session at about the same time I decide to clean my garage and clear it of its dirty winter accumulation.
SADLY, MOST FAMILIES SPEND LESS THAN 30 MINUTES PER YEAR ON THEIR FINANCIAL PLANNING! DON’T BE THAT STATISTIC!
So here are my tips:
Give yourself at least 3 hours, no distractions, to compile whatever personal financial information you need to review and organize. For Example:
- Credit Card Statements
- Unpaid Bills
- Paid, but unorganized bills
- Bank statements
- Retirement savings statements
- Life Insurance Policies
- Donation Receipts
Pull your credit report and review it for accuracy!
- Don’t overlook this one, even though it is generally inconvenient!
- Credit Report companies are required to give you one free report per year…take advantage of that!
Define financial goals for the year, and develop a family budget to keep you on track!
- This is extremely important. If you don’t set goals, you will simply continue down whatever financial path you always travel on.
- If you need help, DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR IT! Hire a financial adviser, or ask a financially savvy friend…they will be happy to help!
Create a New, Proactive, Financial Habit!
- Spend one hour a week, maybe after you pay your bills and balance your checkbook, to review and refine your budget and goals!
- Monitor your financial & retirement investments monthly during this hour.
- Double check your credit card and bank statements for accuracy, making sure you are not being charged interest or fees unreasonably.
- Have fun with it! Whatever your financial situation, if you live within your means, it should never cause you worry or stress if you are managing well!