Getting your financial house in order is incredibly important when it comes to planning for the future. Not only does this make it easier to understand your current spending habits and live within your means, but you’ll also know where all of your important documents are in the event that you ever need them. Beyond that, it will also be easier to prioritize your money and determine how you want to spend it. Maybe you want to save up for that big family trip to Hawaii, or maybe you’ll sock money away for a new Tesla.
Whatever the case may be, organizing your finances gives you more control over your monetary situation. But it’s one thing to say you want to get organized; it’s another thing to actually do it.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you can do, specifically, to organize your finances—and, once that’s done, how you can keep everything in order for the long haul.
1. Organize Your Financial Documents Online and Offline
First things first: Getting your financial house in order starts with collecting all of your financial documents and storing them in one place. Not only are you going to want to maintain a filing cabinet or put your sensitive financial information in a safe, but you should also consider organizing your documents online.
For example, EP Wealth collects and stores all relevant financial information on each client’s Personal Financial Website, which enables us to provide a comprehensive picture of each client’s net worth, budgeting, and financial goals. As an added bonus, you’ll know that your financial documents will be protected in the event of a disaster or a break-in.
2. Make a List of Income, Expenses, and Assets
If you want to get your financial house in order, you first need to list your sources of income, expenses, and assets to get a better idea of how much cash is coming in and how much is going out. So spend some time collecting information about each of the following:
- Mortgage or rent
- Credit card statements
- Investment statements
- Insurance costs
- 401(k) statements
- IRA statements
- Personal investment account statements
The more information you have about each of these important elements, the easier it will be to fully understand your financial situation.
3. Create a Budget and Set SMART Goals
Once you have gathered all of that information, it’s time to create a budget and set SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
For example, if you want to retire by the time you turn 65, you might decide that you need to fully fund your 401(k) and contribute 5 percent of your paycheck to other investments.
If you set unrealistic goals, you may never end up anywhere near them. By setting goals that are within your reach, you’re that much more likely to attain them.
Ready to Organize Your Finances and Get Your House in Order?
Gaining control over your finances requires a lot of work. From the outset, the entire undertaking can seem intimidating, and even insurmountable.
But if you put in the time and energy, it’s possible to organize your finances, which is the first step toward building a more secure financial future. And the best part is that you don’t have to go it on your own. When you partner with a financial advisor, you have access to a professional who has helped tons of people just like you gain control over their finances—and make more informed financial decisions because of it.
For more information, schedule a Financial Health Assessment with EP Wealth today to find out how we can help you get more control over your financial future.
- EP Wealth Advisors (“EPWA”) makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information presented in this article. EPWA has used its best efforts to verify the information presented. However, EPWA cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice.
- Information presented is general in nature and should not be viewed as a comprehensive analysis of the topics discussed. Content does not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice nor is it intended to supplement professional individualized advice. Always consult a professional Financial Advisor before applying any of the approaches or strategies made referenced directly or indirectly herein.
- Nothing referenced here should be viewed as indicative of actual or expected results. Organizing your finances, budgeting and/or setting SMART goals are viewed as a starting point. There is no guarantee or assurance that any results, positive or negative, will be achieved or sustained from the information discussed herein. Actual results may be better or worse than the projections or analysis offered or referenced herein.
- The uniqueness of a clients or prospective clients’ situation will determine the type of services needed and the professionals required to fulfill them. There is no guarantee or warrantee that the services offered by EPWA will satisfy the distinctive service requirements of any client. Services offered by other advisors and/or professionals may align more to the specific needs of clients.