6 Tips to Spring Clean Your Finances
Spring has sprung! And that means it’s time to deep clean your house... but could your personal or trucking finances use some tidying as well?
If you have a financial advisor, spring is a great time to check in with them to update your financial plan based on your evolving circumstances and goals. I recently talked to Pattie Berkner, a Financial Advisor at Legacy Financial Partners, and she shared six tips on how to spring clean your finances.
1. Throw out old papers
Even though so much of our paperwork today has shifted to electronic versions, we can still get bogged down with physical papers at times. Break out your shredder and dispose of old bills and communications. But make sure to keep all business and tax related information for seven years, and check with your lawyer before tossing any legal documents.
2. secure passwords
Regularly changing your passwords to important websites will reduce your risk of getting hacked. Also, if you keep a password cheat sheet on paper, your computer, your email, or even your phone, move it to a more secure storage solution. You can use the password manager on your internet browser, get a reputable password app, or password encrypt an excel file.
3. assess your financial stability
Calculate your assets and liabilities to get an estimate of your net worth. Take a look at your cash flow and see how much is coming in and how much is going out to pay bills and fund your lifestyle. It is important to “watch for creeping living costs and look for opportunities to grow earnings, reduce debt, slash spending, and increase savings,” Berkner says.
4. review your estate plan
Update your will or trust to make sure it reflects your current wishes. Ensure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date (divorces, births, or deaths can necessitate changes) including emergency contacts with your employer or leasing company. If you don’t have one, consider assigning a power of attorney, as well as creating a living will and advance directive.
5. check in on your savings and investments
Is your emergency fund large enough to handle an unexpected setback? Is your retirement savings still on track? If you received an income increase, consider increasing your savings as well. An easy way to ensure you don’t miss a contribution is to make saving automatic with each paycheck. If you have a 401(k) with a former employer, rolling those funds into an IRA or your current retirement account may reduce fees and provide different investment options. Make sure your accounts reflect the appropriate amount of risk and diversity for where you are in your life.
If you work at K&J, talk with us about your savings and investment needs. We have connections with several local resources that understand the unique blessings and challenges of trucking income.
6. tidy up odds and ends
Use those gift cards sitting in your wallet. Get rid of memberships or subscriptions that are no longer of value. Close that old bank account or credit card that you no longer use. Review your rates for insurance, cable, cell phone, internet, etc.; you may be able to save costs by renegotiating, bundling, or switching to a new provider.
Note: This article reflects the opinions of one financial planner, not K&J Trucking and is not intended to replace a conversation with your own financial planner who knows your unique situation. If you are looking for a financial planner, feel free to contact Pattie Berkner. If you are a K&J driver we also have additional financial planning resources that we can give you!