| Hi Taylor:
I got my husband to commit to what I'm calling "financial spring cleaning."
We're going to focus on getting our finances in better order leading
up to the summer. Any tips for where we should start? - Danielle
Hi Danielle: I like that! Everyone should engage in a little
financial spring cleaning. There are a lot of things you can do, but
I'll keep it to three main points right now.
Hard to take any other steps when you have credit cards or student
loans tying you down. It might be hard to pay off all your debt
in one season, but it only takes an afternoon to make a solid
repayment plan that can have you making big strides and feeling
optimistic about your progress. If you have the ability to get
out of debt but you're just dragging your feet, take this opportunity
to set yourself free. If you have a lot of outstanding balances
and feel overwhelmed, pick one loan and set a goal for when you
can pay it off. And, if you have no debt, move on to the fun stuff!
2. Work on your travel budget. Whether it's a summer vacation
or a flight to see family at Christmas, nothing upends your finances
more than paying for travel without having planned ahead. If you
want to get things nice and tidy, you should check airfare prices
and start setting money aside so you don't get caught off guard.
If you have the flexibility to put aside a good amount, you can
start thinking about a bigger, grander vacation down the road.
After all, the best part of budgeting is saving money for the
finer things in life.
3. Cut back on silly spending. Got a gym membership you don't
use? Three credit cards with annual fees? A bunch of extravagant
appliances that drive your electric bills up? There are a lot
of expenses you can cut out of your life without becoming some
sort of unhappy hermit. Look at your monthly and quarterly bills
and figure out where you might be able to trim the fat a little.
Cable bills and car insurance are a good place to start. Maybe
look at your grocery spending and then see how much food is getting
left to rot in the fridge. A really small change in behavior could
save you hundreds of dollars each month.
| I'm excited
to hear about how this spring cleaning effort goes! I might steal
your idea and recommend a little spring cleaning to some of my clients.
Thanks for writing in!
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not
an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.