by CareyAnn Peterson
The first day of spring began this week and your financial house could probably use some spring cleaning. Now that we have finally recovered from the holidays, the spring is a great time to evaluate your finances and to check your progress to determine if you are on track to reach your financial goals in 2012. Here are few items to consider reviewing.
Are your income statement and balance sheet up to date?
Recently, my colleague, Shelley Seagler, wrote an article, Personal Financial Statements and Retirement, where she discusses the importance of creating a personal income statement and balance sheet. Creating these items as well as revisiting and maintaining them on a monthly basis is an important task to remember so that you can accurately track your current finances as well as plan for the future. Now is a good time to make sure those items have your most up-to-date information. If you haven’t created these statements yet, sit down and take some time to do so.
Is your emergency fund enough?
It is important to reevaluate your emergency fund every so often to make sure that you have enough emergency savings to last an entire year. You may have taken on a payment or retired some debt and find that your expenses have changed. If you have a deficit in your emergency fund, create a goal to fill the gap over the next eight months. If you find that you have a large excess of funds, you could deposit that money in an investment account.
Have you saved enough in 2012?
If you haven’t been reaching your savings goals in 2012, make sure to cut back on your discretionary spending and start putting more towards your goals. As the year goes on, you will be happy that you increased your savings now.. If you have unexpected money come through the door, like a tax-refund, definitely put a good portion in savings!
Here is a link to our My Financial Plan application. This online tool will help you track your personal financial statements, savings, and emergency fund to help you accomplish your spring cleaning. You can revisit and update your My Financial Plan at any time.