By Ori @FeeX
Though winter is still raging on for a lot of you, there’s hope around the bend — spring is almost here, at least date-wise, if not weather-wise. And after a few long months of hibernation, it’s probably time for you to get in the spring cleaning mindset. But don’t just go crazy with the Swiffers and Pledge at home — why not spring clean your finances too? Here are five ways to get your financial picture as squeaky clean as your floors.
Revisit your budget
Do you have a plan on how to spend your income, how much to put into retirement savings, etc.? If you don’t have one yet, the beginning of spring is a great time to start—budgeting software like You Need a Budget, budget apps like Level, or even just a simple pen and paper approach will help you start tracking how you’re spending and saving.
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And if you already do, take a look at whether the budget is working for you. Is your spending and saving in line with what you planned? You might want to adjust your expectations (which is totally normal – budgets can and should be flexible!), or even try a new type of budgeting, like the zero-based budget.
Check your asset allocation for retirement
One retirement portfolio definitely doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to age. With many Americans overexposed to stocks in their retirement savings, it’s worth it to make sure your risk profile is adjusted to when you plan on retiring. If you’re invested in target date funds, you’re probably already good to go on this (those portfolios change automatically over time to match age and risk), but if not, call your financial advisor to check in, and if you don’t have a financial advisor, check out FeeX’s Insights feature, which will show you ideal asset allocation based on age.
Think twice about your bank
Are you getting the best you can get from your bank? Are the interest rates in savings accounts competitive, or are they falling short? Are your monthly statements loaded with ATM fees and maintenance fees? Shopping around for a new bank with a service like Magnify Money could net you a lot more in interest in the long run, and rid your life of a lot of pesky fees, like ATM fees. Talk about a spring cleaning!
Check in on your saving goals
What are you saving up for right now — a down payment on a house, your retirement, your kids’ college funds, a vacation? Take a look at your savings goals, then see how far away they are for you and what you can do to reach them faster. Whether it’s temporarily cutting out a costly habit like getting food delivered or thinking longer-term about what’s getting diverted from your paycheck, your savings goals are closer than you think.
Reduce your investment fees
This is something we can definitely help you with! When investment fees are a $600B-a-year problem that’s taking money from your own retirement savings, the easiest way to tackle the issue is to visit FeeX, scan your 401(k), IRA or other investment account for fees, and see how we can help you reduce those fees. You’ll be saving more for retirement in no time. Problem solved.