WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Tax season is upon us and that means its time for financial organization for spring time. Scott Kahan, financial planning expert at Financial Asset Management Corp provides tips for financial management.
1. Throw Away Paper. Opt for less paper and clutter and take some time to sort through your paperwork and files to get yourself organized. Shred the documents you no longer need. Keep in mind that the federal government recommends that you only need to keep bank statements for one year, and tax documents can be discarded after seven years.
2. Clean Up Your Accounts. Now is the time to close unused credit card and bank accounts and toss out dusty checks and statements. If you have multiple bank accounts open that you rarely use, consider closing some. And if you’ve been unhappy with your bank, now is a great time to switch. While you’re at it, check out your retirement accounts.Instead of dealing with multiple accounts, consider consolidating these accounts into one IRA account to streamline your retirement savings.
3. Review and reorganize your budget. As you receive your year-end investment and bank statements, do not simply file them away. Instead, take a close look to make sure that your allocations are in line with your goals.
4. Use Apps for Better Financial Organization. Modern computing tools and apps mean that it has never been easier to keep detailed records of where you are spending, and to categorize these records for easy consumption. You should find out how much you are spending on essentials like groceries, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc., and how much is being spent on discretionary spending like eating out, recreation and hobbies.
5. Review Your Rates. When you get your mortgage statements, take a look at your interest rates. With rates at historic lows, now may be a good time to refinance your mortgage. Also consider refinancing your 30-year mortgage into a 15-year mortgage. The payments may be higher -- even with a lower rate -- but you can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars in interest.
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