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5 smart financial moves to make in the New Year

Your wallet may be feeling a little (or a lot) lighter after another season of gift-giving. However, it’s just a slice of your financial pie. The New Year is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to start fresh. Will you resolve to begin 2019 strong enough to help ensure a financially smart year…and future?

Here are some ideas to get you started right away as you begin a new year of financial health:

  • Check your portfolio. Is your financial planner reviewing your portfolio on an ongoing basis? Are you doing the same? Ask your advisor whether it’s time to rebalance your allocations and whether you’re on plan. If you’ve not made changes in a while, it’s possible your plan doesn’t reflect your current financial reality.
  • Simplify your accounts and how you keep tabs on them. How many investment accounts do you have? Is there some advantage to consolidating some of them? Consolidation can save cash. Communication modes may need to be updated, too. Are you receiving printed statements and are they necessary? Learn more about and implement your provider’s online portals for easy access and much less paper.
  • Know your fees. Did you end any subscriptions? Cancel a membership? Be sure you’re not racking up charges that you didn’t expect. (Fine print can be a beast!). Watch your account statements closely, including your bank records. (Do you really need a printed statement?) Check your credit cards for monthly fees. Look for more economic options.
  • Build an emergency fund. Number 2 and 3 above will help you eliminate unnecessary monthly expenses. Use those savings to help build an emergency fund. A staggering 40 percent of U.S. adults report they don’t have funds saved up for a $400 emergency. Do you? The recommendation you’ve heard before still stands: aim for three months of living expenses in your emergency fund. Start looking for expenses you can trim daily, weekly and monthly and start building it up as aggressively as possible. In the future, you will be glad for the cushion.
  • Life documents: Are they (and you) ready to go? As Elbert Hubbard said, “Don’t take life too seriously; you won’t get out alive.” But, we say there’s one thing to take seriously: insurance documents. Have you updated your will, beneficiary listings, or other end-of-life documents? Your peace of mind is worth it, and so are your loved ones.

Take some time this month to review your financial health. It’s a commitment that’s sure to transform many years to come, too. To learn more about Financial Planning contact Certified Financial Planner Joseph (Barney) Lane at 386-734-0800!


Sources: The Motely Fool, Chuck Jaffe