Once the Easter bunny has cleared out, Spring has officially sprung. Pull out the whites and pastels and start clearing out the remnants of Winter. But Spring cleaning should be more than just cleaning out your garage and packing your mittens.
We recommend you clear the financial clutter with an annual Financial spring cleaning– Here is how to do it in five easy steps.
1. Review or Make a Financial/Investment Plan
Financial advisors will tell you that either too much action or no action at all is a bad thing when it comes to investing. Constant changes to your investment account can actually end up costing you more in added fees and expenses. But you also don’t want to take a “set it and forget it” approach, because that can result in an unbalanced account with poor long-term performance. Make a plan for an annual investment review, either using online tools or an analysis done by a financial professional.
2. Set a Weekly and Monthly Budget
This is the perfect time to examine whether you have financial balance in your life. Do your expenses outweigh your income? Build a spreadsheet or review your current one to make sure you are living within your means and not overextending yourself by spending more than you make by using credit cards.
3. Make Cash King
Speaking of credit card debt, our still shaky economy has made cash king in many U-S households. Instead of “charging it,” leave the plastic in your wallet and plunk down cash for things such as groceries, your Starbucks latte, and a trip to the mall. Research shows that people who pay with cash actually spend less and save more.
4. Vow to Save, Save, Save
On the subject of spending less, make 2012 the year of saving more. Start your own piggy bank with a “Rainy Day” savings account that you don’t touch unless it’s an emergency. Vow to build it up to a few thousand dollars and you will sleep better at night.
5. Review Insurance Policies
Are you paying too much in homeowner’s insurance? Take a closer look and see if you might qualify for discounts from your carrier from installing a new burglar alarm, protective windows, or anything that makes your home safer and more secure.
Dust off those old life insurance policies and compare what you’re paying now to new, cheaper policies for term life insurance. Greater competition and longer life expectancies have driven down costs among the major companies and you might qualify for lower rates now, as long as you’re still healthy and don’t smoke. Term life insurance helps you save money because you purchase coverage for a specific length of time, when you think your family will be most vulnerable.
You can also choose to purchase permanent life insurance (whole, universal, variable) if you want to add investments to your life insurance coverage. Those policies will build up cash value and last a lifetime but you will pay more for permanent life insurance.
Finding affordable coverage is as easy as shopping around online to find the best rates that suit your needs. A free, no-obligation quote online can be done in five minutes in a few easy steps. You will be able to compare quotes from among top-rated insurance companies.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
LifeQuote Holdings, Inc., is a pioneer in online life insurance brokerage. The firm was one of the first to offer consumers free life insurance quotes via telephone in the 1980’s, prior to developing the Internet business model. The executive team is made up of life insurance and retirement plan veterans, as well as media/marketing specialists, and experts in web design, development and search engine optimization. The company CEO is a respected leader in his field and coveted public speaker at national industry meetings. To find out more, please visit www.lifequote.com.
The author of this LifeQuote Blog post is not a licensed life insurance agent or broker.
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