Tidy Up Your Finances

Tidy Up Your Finances

April 03, 2024

The time has changed, the days are getting longer, the weather is warming up—all signs that spring has arrived! This also means that Tax Day is upon us here at Strojny Financial Services. April 15 is the deadline for individual and C Corp tax returns, as well as 1040 and 1120 extensions. As you pick up your tax return this year, consider ways you can spring clean your finances and tidy up your financial situation to set yourself up for success in the coming months. 

Review Your Budget: Take a close look at your budget to see if it's still working for you. Are there any areas where you can cut back on expenses? Are there any new expenses you need to account for? Adjust your budget accordingly. If there are any upcoming large expenses that you’re not sure how to plan for, reach out to our team, and we’ll help walk you through how best to prepare.

Track Your Spending: If you're not already doing so, start tracking your spending. You can do this through your banking app, with an Excel spreadsheet or by using pen and paper. This will help you identify any areas where you might be overspending and make adjustments as needed.

Check Your Credit Report: Get a copy of your credit report and review it for any errors or discrepancies. If you are a parent, check to see if your child has a credit report. If they do, that may be a red flag indicating possible identity theft. Correcting any mistakes could help improve your (or your child’s) credit score.

Pay Off Debt: If you have any outstanding debt, now is a good time to come up with a plan to pay it off. Consider focusing on high-interest debt first, such as credit card debt. This can be daunting to some of our clients, so please reach out to us if you’d like to work together on how to resolve debt.

Automate Savings: Set up automatic transfers to your savings account to make it easier to save money consistently. Some employers will allow you to direct deposit your paycheck into multiple accounts—one of which could be a savings account. 

Review Your Investments: Talk to your Strojny Financial Services financial professional and take a look at your investment portfolio. Let’s consider how your situation may have changed since the last time we met. Together, we’ll make any necessary adjustments based on your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Set Financial Goals: Take some time to set financial goals for yourself, whether it's saving for a vacation, paying off debt, or investing for retirement. Work closely with your financial advisor on steps to work toward those goals. Having clear goals can help keep you motivated and on track.

Create an Emergency Fund: If you don't already have one, start building an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Aim to save enough to cover three to six months' worth of living expenses.

Shred Old Documents: The IRS recommends you keep copies of your filed tax returns, but you only need to keep records for three years from the date you filed your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. The IRS recommends you keep records for seven years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.[1] As always, there are a few exceptions. Records connected to property, such as real estate or investments, should be kept until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the property. Insurance companies or creditors may ask you to keep records longer than the IRS mandates. And, if you fail to file your return or file a fraudulent return, you’ll need to keep those records indefinitely.

By taking these steps to spring clean your finances, you'll be better positioned to pursue your financial goals and build a secure future for yourself and your family. 

Investments are subject to market risks including the potential loss of principal invested. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

[1] irs.gov