Things that feel like spring: Retiring like a pro. Saying “thank u, next” to debt. Making a plan to spend and invest. Finally being able to consult a financial planner on all of the above.
With the cold weather finally showing signs of letting up, now is a great time to declutter that money and spring clean your finances. Because putting it off — and missing out on potential returns — will keep everything feeling like a winter that doesn’t end.
Here are six ways to spring clean your finances.
1. Appreciate how far you’ve come
First, take a moment to recognize the opportunities your finances have offered you thus far. (Do a little money meditation, if you will.) Check in on your money mindset.
Then assemble all your money stuff in one place — on your computer, on your dining table, wherever feels comfy. Sit down and visualize your end game. Finally, organize everything you’ll need to get there into these categories: Retirement, Debt, Investing (and Taxes), and Financial Planning. Easier to see, easier to conquer.
2. Consolidate your retirement accounts
Next, ask yourself: Does a retirement full of doing whatever the hell you want sound good? We thought so. Start investing or upping your deposits into your retirement account today. You can also chat with one of Ellevest’s financial planners in a 1:1 Retirement Planning Session to double-check that you’re on track.
3. Put some elbow grease into your goals
Figure out what you love and set some goals. Kids? A house all to yourself? A dream vacay? We’re a goal-based investing platform because we’re less concerned with “chasing alpha” or “beating the market” and more concerned with helping you reach your financial targets.
Then set up automatic deposits into your investment accounts — for your 401(k) at work, through Ellevest, etc. Harder to miss money you don’t see!
4. Tidy up with your tax refund
The best way to avoid clutter in the future? Tidying up along the way. Consider taking that tax refund off the shelf and repurposing it for Future You.
High-interest credit card debt? Pay that sh*t down. No emergency fund? No problem — now you’ve got the cash to kick one off. But maybe you have both of those covered already? Well, look at you. Could it be time, then, to up your investing autodeposits?
5. Upgrade your financial plan
You’ve fought hard to get this far with your money. Maybe things are a little easier now than they were when you were just getting started. You’re getting the hang of your routine. You may be working on a debt payoff plan or still paying off your student loans, but you’re still ready to level up a little bit. (Like when you bought that Roomba, or invested in your beloved dishwasher.)
If you’ve ever been curious about working with a financial planner, a springtime refresh could be just the moment to collab on your longer-term roadmap with a pro. (If you didn’t know, Ellevest’s financial planners are all women and they work with folks at every level.)
6. Organize your budget
Whether it’s a tiered spice rack in your pantry or the way you organize your spending, the key to long-lasting organization is having a system in place. So it’s time to organize your paycheck into boxes with a budgeting method — for this example, we’ll use the 50/30/20 approach.
Aim to put 50% of your salary toward needs — like rent and transportation. Then try to put 30% toward fun (that’s important, too), and 20% toward Future You — saving, investing, and speeding up debt repayment.
If you can’t invest 20% right away, work your way up! Start with 1% and gradually increase with every paycheck. A little compartmentalization goes a long way.
Finally, sit back, relax, and appreciate all the hard work you just did. You know this journey will still require a lot of upkeep along the way — but right now, you’re allowed to enjoy it.
Of course, you never have to do this stuff alone. Get started with Ellevest today by booking a totally free 15-minute call. We’ll help you figure out where you’re at and where you want to go next. Ready to get started?
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