Spring Clean Your Financial Life

Despite the chilly temps lingering here in NYC, the first day of Spring is finally here – the perfect inspiration to spring-clean your finances!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that you’ll hardly find me jumping up and down at the thought of tackling my apartment with a mop or duster. But I am always excited to help people get “jazzed” about their finances, as one thoughtful client put it, and take charge of their financial lives. (I can’t help it – I’m a financial advisor, so money management gets me fired up! What else do you do to shake off the winter blues?)

So why Spring cleaning? Just as you would clean your home and clear out clutter, your finances need at least an annual tune-up to ensure important matters are in order. By checking in and tidying up, you also have the chance to re-evaluate your financial plan, and re-organize as necessary to promote growth toward your goals in the year ahead.

Spring Cleaning Financial Checklist

  • Do a thorough sweep…

…of your accounts. Compile a list of your accounts, including the location, type, and amount of each account, as well as any property you own. This exercise gives you an at-a-glance sense of your finances, and is a helpful reference to have on hand.

  • Clear out clutter…

…and make sure that key documents and info are organized and accessible. Paperwork has a way of piling up on a desk or getting buried in an inbox. Some key files to have up to date and in order: an updated will, deeds to any property you own, power of attorney, tax documents, account statements, and your Investment Policy Statement.

  • Take stock…

…of your financial status. You want the holistic, big-picture view: what are the major factors affecting your financial life? Review your assets and your liabilities. Get a concrete, by-the-numbers idea of your monthly spending and saving. Note any large expenses you can predict in the next year, whether there will be a major purchase like a new home or car, or something like holiday travel. Set up regular check-ins with your financial advisor (and if applicable, with your partner), whether that’s quarterly, semi-annually, or on some other schedule that works for you.

  • Fine tune…

…your financial plan. Re-evaluate your goals and priorities in light of your now clean-and-clear picture of your financial situation. Is your plan still a good fit for those goals? Make any adjustments as necessary so that your hard-earned wealth can work hard for you, to its best potential.

Let the cleaning begin! Happy Spring!