When you think of spring cleaning, a seemingly endless list of household tasks come to mind. Wash the windows, declutter your home, or tackle a long-overdue project. But have you ever considered applying that same mindset to your finances? May is the perfect time to review your finances, including your investments, to set you up for success for the year ahead.
Here are the ASC’s top tips for spring cleaning your finances:
Organize your financial documents – Spring cleaning is all about organizing and you can do the same with your financial documents. Sort through all your documents, destroy items you no longer need and organize everything you keep into a filing system that makes sense for you. If you prefer to manage your finances electronically, do the same on your computer, but be certain to backup all documents onto an external hard-drive or secure cloud service.
Review your financial statements – It’s easy to allow financial documents like bank or investment statements to pile up unopened. Take the time to open all your financial documents that you’ve received and comb through your statements. Be sure you understand the investment fees you’re paying, and how your portfolio is performing. Be sure to note any questions you have for your financial planner or investment advisor. Follow up if there are any changes to your accounts or new investments that you do not recall making.
Connect with your financial advisor – After reviewing all of your documents and compiling a list of questions, reach out to your financial planner or investment advisor for an annual check-in. This is a great opportunity to not only address the questions you have from your statements, but to also review your investments based on any life changes you’ve recently had (promotion, new job, marriage, new child, etc.) and to adjust your course accordingly.
If you don’t have a financial advisor or investment advisor? If you decide to go this route, consider meeting with a few individuals to see who might be a good fit for you. Be sure to check the registration of any investment advisor you meet with in advance. Visit CheckFirst.ca for more information on questions to ask a potential advisor and how to check registration.
Re-evaluate your budget – With 2018 into its fourth quarter, now is an excellent time to review your finances to see how you’re tracking against your goals for the year and plan ahead for any upcoming expenditures. Consider checking your budget against a worksheet like the one on CheckFirst.ca.
For more information on making wise investments, or to learn more about investing in Alberta visit CheckFirst.ca for helpful tools and resources.