April 19, 2024

Spring Cleaning Guide: Refresh Your Financial Health

As spring blossoms, it’s not just our homes that can benefit from a thorough cleaning—our finances deserve a seasonal refresh too. Whether you’re dusting off your budget, pruning your spending, or polishing your investment strategy, consider this your financial deep-clean checklist.


Sweep Away Old Budget Habits

Start by reassessing your budget. Your financial situation might have evolved since you last checked—perhaps your income has changed, or you’ve encountered new expenses. Begin by listing your current monthly income sources and all expenses, including those that are easy to forget, such as annual subscriptions or quarterly payments. If your expenses exceed your income, or you’re barely breaking even, it’s time to identify areas to cut back.


Clear Out Unnecessary Expenses

Go through your bank statements from the past few months. Look for subscriptions you no longer use or redundant services—like that gym membership you haven’t utilized since January. Cancelling these can free up substantial amounts of money. Additionally, consider switching providers for services such as internet, insurance, and cell phone plans to get better deals.

Statistical Insight: According to a recent survey, the average American saves $1,000 annually by reviewing and adjusting subscription services alone.


Declutter Your Debt

Debt can accumulate like clutter. Tackle high-interest debts first, such as credit card balances, as they cost you the most money over time. If you have multiple debts, you might consider strategies like the debt avalanche (paying off debts with the highest interest rates first) or the debt snowball method (paying off smallest debts first to build momentum).

Example: If you owe $10,000 on a credit card with a 19% APR and $5,000 on a loan with a 6% APR, prioritize the credit card debt to avoid accruing higher interest.


Refresh Your Savings Strategy

Evaluate and adjust your savings goals—whether it’s for retirement, a down payment on a home, or an emergency fund. Fortifi experts recommend saving at least 20% of your income. If that’s not feasible, any increase in savings is a step in the right direction. Look into the different savings accounts and investment options that Fortifi Bank offers, choosing those that align with your risk tolerance and financial timeline.

Example: Consider an IRA for retirement savings, which can offer tax advantages.


Update Your Financial Goals

As the seasons change, so can your financial priorities. Whether you’ve recently paid off a significant debt, welcomed a new family member, or transitioned careers, it’s important to reassess your financial goals to reflect your current situation and future aspirations. Be specific about what you aim to achieve—whether buying a home, saving for your child’s education, or preparing for retirement—and set measurable milestones to help track your progress.

Tip: To assist in refining your financial strategy, consider using Fortifi Bank’s resources. For a tailored plan that matches your unique financial landscape, explore our comprehensive financial planning. If you’re looking to start or expand your investment portfolio, Nest Egg offers an accessible route to investing, supporting your financial growth every step of the way. These resources are designed to help you effectively navigate and achieve your financial goals.


Organize Financial Documents

A well-organized filing system for financial documents—tax returns, insurance policies, mortgage documents, etc.—can save you a lot of stress. Use digital options where possible to reduce physical clutter and increase security.

Tip: Shred old documents that are no longer needed to protect your privacy and reduce paper clutter.


Plan for the Unexpected

Reassess your insurance coverage—health, life, auto, home—to ensure they are adequate for your current needs. Additionally, make sure your emergency fund is robust enough to cover at least three to six months of living expenses in case of sudden unemployment or major unexpected expenses.


Consider a Financial Guide

If you find managing your finances overwhelming, consider consulting your Fortifi Banker. They can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific financial situation, helping you make informed decisions that align with your long-term goals.


Just as spring cleaning your home can invigorate your living space, taking the time to thoroughly cleanse and update your financial strategy can revitalize your personal finances. Use this time of renewal to clear away financial inefficiencies, set fresh goals, and step into the warmer months with a strong, organized financial plan. Remember, Fortifi Bank is here to help with resources, tools, and personalized advice to make your financial spring cleaning as effective as possible.

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