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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Fradenburg, AIF®, CDFA®

Spring Cleaning for Your Finances

The spring-like weather we experienced mid-March had Grosse Pointers flocking to Allemon's and Ace, eager to gather the essentials to freshen up their flower beds. Yet, as the temperatures have dropped once again, hinting at the tease of a fake spring, it presents the perfect interlude to turn our attention indoors—not just to our physical spaces but to the financial clutter that often goes unnoticed. As a financial advisor, I see this as an opportune moment to dive into a spring cleaning for your finances, ensuring you step into the season with a refreshed and organized financial outlook.

Tidying Up Your Financial Documents

Begin with decluttering your financial documents. Just as we tackle the clutter in our closets and drawers, it's equally important to address the financial "junk drawer" that many of us have—a mishmash of unsorted documents, neglected accounts, and the ever-growing list of financial tasks that we plan to get to "someday." This involves sorting through bank statements, bills, insurance policies, and investment reports. Digitize what you can to reduce physical clutter, ensuring that you have secure backups for digital files. For essential documents that must be kept in hard copy, such as birth certificates and property deeds, invest in a fireproof safe. Remember, the goal is to know what you have and where it is.

Automating Your Financial Life

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to manage your finances is through automation. Automation in finance can be likened to a timed irrigation system for your garden—set it up once, and it takes care of the rest, ensuring your financial responsibilities are met without a second thought. Set up automatic payments for recurring bills and automatic transfers to your savings or investment accounts. This ensures that you never miss a payment and steadily grow your savings without having to think about it every month.

Reevaluating Your Budget and Goals

Spring is an ideal time to review your budget and financial goals. Life changes, and so should your budget. Maybe you have new income sources, or perhaps certain expenses have decreased or increased. Adjust your budget accordingly and set new financial goals if necessary. This could mean saving for a home renovation, planning for a vacation, or increasing your retirement contributions.

Investing in Your Financial Education

Finally, consider using this time to invest in your financial education. The more you understand about personal finance, from investing basics to tax strategies, the more empowered you will be to make informed decisions. There are countless resources available, including books, podcasts, and online courses, to suit every learning style and interest.

A Season of Financial Renewal

As you enjoy the sense of renewal that spring brings to your home and garden, extend that refreshing energy to your finances. By decluttering, consolidating, automating, reevaluating, and educating, you can create a solid foundation that supports your current needs and future goals. Remember, financial well-being isn't achieved by accident; it's the result of deliberate actions and ongoing management. As you patiently wait for the ground to warm and the blooms to emerge, remember that the seeds of financial well-being you plant now will bring peace and prosperity in the seasons to come.

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