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Spring Season Financial Planning

The advent of spring brings out a flush of happiness as the weather looks all bright and beautiful. Smart personal planning can also be set into motion during this season so that you are tension-free and have a sense of self-belief that your finances are in order. Focus on eliminating debt, building wealth and planning your finances, this season.

Here is how you can get your finances structured well, this spring season

  1. Stick to a budget - Nobody said that you should not buy that smart-looking T-shirt or that latest gadget with a 10x optical zoom. But what is important is to know if you really want that product, if it serves your present need; or you can defer it for something better in the future. You don't want to be in the soup just because you spent beyond your means, only to cater to a fad. Keeping a budget helps you to keep your finances in control so that you can plan your purchases accordingly.
  2. Get rid of debt - A mountain of debt has never helped anyone, why push it for another year? Find out options to get rid of debt or at least trim it down. Some of the options include - balance transfer, a consolidation loan or a debt relief company.
  3. A balance transfer credit card with a low introductory rate of 0% APR can be a boon in reducing your debt burden. Shift your debt onto the new card and pay low or no interest rate during the introductory period.
  4. With a consolidation loan, you can put all your high-interest debts in a new loan or credit card and pay them all off, in one shot with better terms.
  5. Debt relief companies offer you solutions to merge all debts as one and pay them off at reduced interest rates. They can also negotiate with creditors and lenders to reduce some of your present debts.
  6. Know your credit score - It is always beneficial to be abreast of your credit score. You can also get free credit reports from 3 major credit reporting, Experia, Equifax, and TransUnion, once in 12 months. Your credit score and credit reports go a long way in telling you about your financial standing with respect to your creditors. Lenders look at your credit score before approving you for any type of credit - loan, mortgage, credit cards, etc. Going through your credit score and credit reports can help you assess your financial progress and take corrective steps to improve your score.
  7. Get rid of late payments - Since payment history is the most crucial element of your credit score, make sure that your payments are not missed, and are on-time. If you are already late, create a reservoir of funds that you can use to clear these debts at one time. Any extra income that comes your way should be pooled in getting rid of delayed payments, out of your way.
  8. Check your tax holding - After you procure a tax refund, use the following weeks of time to analyze your withholding and find out how it can impact your next tax season. Go through your W-4 and check if you can claim allowances to improve your chances of being in good stead, the following year.
  9. Get rid of all the clutter on your desk and cabinets - A cluttered work-space can lead to a cluttered mindset. Go through all the papers on your desk, folders, mailboxes, and even your emails and organize all data properly in a manner so that you can retrieve them easily. Whatever is irrelevant can be regarded as waste and thrown into the trash-can.
  10. Plan your retirement - We are so holed up in the present that we often forget that we need a substantial amount of savings in your retirement years. Ensure that you contribute more funds to your 401 (K) account, explore tax-free avenues like a municipal bond or invest your money in a well-chosen mutual fund.

The spring season can not only bring you a fresh cheer of happiness, but also the satisfaction that you are in the driver's seat, as far as your finances are concerned.