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It’s January already!? How did that happen? Last year was a whirlwind for sure, but now that the holidays are behind us and things are quieting down, it’s time to focus on yourself and your personal goals. Is getting your finances in order at the top of your resolutions list? We surely hope so! If not, perhaps a late addition is in order (hint…hint). In all seriousness, focusing your organizational energy on your finances is an excellent way to get started working toward all your other goals and aspirations.

If you want to get organized, but have no idea even where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Presenting your January financial tune-up checklist:


  • Increase your savings by 1%: It may not seem like a lot now, but over time increasing your savings rate by 1% each year can really make a difference.  And you’ll likely not even notice it in your paycheck.


  • Sign up for that company 401k: We get it. The paperwork may be daunting, but it’s totally worth it. Give this blog post a read if you’ve never fully grasped the whole company retirement plan thing, and get on it!


  • Review your investments: Get a handle on where your money is and how it’s invested. Have you reviewed the fees on our accounts and your investment allocation lately? Do you have multiple 401k accounts from previous jobs here, there and everywhere? Consider rolling the funds over into a single retirement account instead. Simplifying is key people!


  • Automate payments to credit card debt: It can be so depressing to see your old credit card balance languishing month after month. Make a point to get rid of some of that debt this year. Automate payments after each paycheck to get the ball rolling, and stick to it.


  • Set short and long term financial goals: Everyone likes to day dream about their aspirations for the future. Put all those goals into writing, and get to work achieving them.


  • Get a financial plan: Once your goals are set, it’s time to work toward making them a reality. A financial plan is the road map you can use to get you where you want to go and do all those great things you want to do.


  • Start collecting your tax paperwork: As tax documentation comes in the mail, drop everything in a folder on your countertop. That way, when it gets to crunch time, you’ll have a nice bundle of documents ready and waiting, rather than having to rifle through piles of unopened mail.


  • Consider getting a life insurance policy: Life insurance can help bring you peace of mind for what could happen in the future, especially if you have children. Contact an insurance broker, and determine whether life insurance might benefit you and your family.


  • Update your beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies: Recently married? Have a new baby? Any other recent changes in your family’s situation? Better take a look at your beneficiaries and make sure they are up to date and accurate!


  • Get your legal paperwork in order: Legal paperwork is extremely important, particularly if you have kids. Make it a priority to get it taken care of this year. If you already have the paperwork drawn up, review it to confirm it’s still up to date. 


That’s it! Focus on getting these to-dos checked off, and you’ll be well on your way to being uber organized financially by year end. And then you’ll be freed up to take care of all of your other business you’ve got going on. Have any questions, or need any other guidance now that the new year is here? Give us a buzz anytime!