Clean Up Your Finances This Spring!
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Springtime is a great time to not only spruce up your home but also your finances.  If you are seeking to get your finances in order, use this time to give yourself a financial checkup!

Set thine house in order

Get organized!  If someone asked you, “Who holds your insurance policy?” or “Who holds your mortgage?” would you be able to provide them the information quickly?

I can recall after my father had had a stroke and was hospitalized for more than 30 days, I had to ask these tough financial questions at his bedside.

From that moment, I created a financial planner that included an area to list items to help others to get organized. If your papers are all over the place, you have to get organized. Not only that, make a listing of your mortgage holder, insurance policies, bank accounts, wills, and more. Place these items in one place so that you can have it when it is needed.

Credit Cleanup

Check your credit report and, more importantly, know your credit score. Keep in mind, you are able to obtain a free copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com from each of the three credit reporting agencies.

Review your report and determine whether there are any inaccuracies. If there are errors, take a moment and dispute them. This process not only ensures you have accurate information on your report, but it also can boost your credit score by removing items that are decreasing your score.

Savings Goals

It doesn’t matter whether you are saving a few dollars or a few hundred dollars, you have to commit to saving something. While most financial advice tells us to save at least three to six months for a rainy day, if you have had trouble saving, start with smaller goals in mind. For instance, it may be a good idea to consider within the last year, what was one of the largest unexpected expenses you had to take care of out of pocket and allow that to be your savings goal. Once you are able to save this amount, keep going until you have three to six months of necessities, such as a mortgage or rent, groceries, utilities, and other non-discretionary expenses. Committing to saving consistently can ensure your finances are in check.

Retirement Review

Are you saving enough for retirement? This is a great time to determine whether you will have enough money for when the big day comes! Take time to meet with a financial adviser regarding your financial goals to determine exactly how much money you should be saving. Then, adjust!

If you are ready to get started today, check out an online retirement calculator, which considers your age, retirement date, current income, and more to give you a quick access to determine if you are saving enough.  Also, take time to check your retirement estimates with Social Security. You can get an idea of the amount you can expect to receive once you retire.

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Kemberley Washington, CPA

Kemberley “Kemcents” Washington, CPA is the co-founder of Washington CPA Services, LLC and the B.A.D.G.E.® plan. She is an author, educator and personal finance news contributor. She has authored "The Ten Commandments to a Financial Healing," "Are you wearing the B.A.D.G.E.? Financial Planner," "21 Days of Powerful Breakthroughs" and a host of other books. Excerpts of her books are available on the YouVersion Bible App and have received more than thousands of downloads collectively.


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