Spring Cleaning Your Finances

It's time to toss those dusty bank statements, save a tree and shop around for better rates.

1. Start with your budget.

Your budget – or spending plan – is probably the most important piece of your financial planning. Take an afternoon to go over your spending:

Do you notice any problem? How well are you sticking to your budget? Adjust your budget accordingly.

2. Clean up your accounts.

Now is a great time to consolidate accounts, get rid of unused accounts and streamline your retirement savings accounts.

3. Opt for less paper and save a tree.

Most accounts these days – whether checking accounts or utility accounts – have a paperless billing option. Your clutter piles – and the

environment – will thank you.

4. Shop around.

If it’s been awhile since you shopped around for better rates on your car insurance, cable, cellphone plan or other recurring items, now is the time.

5. Check up on insurance coverage.

When was the last time you reviewed your homeowners or life insurance policies? It may be time to give your insurance a check-up.

Check out our Forum Section “Ask Us” – A place to answer YOUR questions! Send us your questions, and we will be happy to answer them in one of our upcoming newsletters.

Ask Us...

I filed my taxes and owe again...how can I reduce my tax bill starting NOW?

Start with:

Take a longer view.

Plan now and look ahead. Life events, such as having children, buying a house, paying for education or caring for elderly parents can trigger significant tax opportunities.

Invest in a tax-wise way.

When it comes to tax planning, it’s important to be aware of what’s in your portfolio and the tax implications. By continually looking at your short, medium, and long term goals you’ll be able to make tax-wise decisions.

Work with an advisor on an overall financial plan which includes tax planning.

Elements of financial planning are best considered together — whether it’s your investments, taxes, or insurance, ask us to help you build a cohesive strategy so decisions are not made in isolation.

Keep in mind the 3 "D’s"

3 important functions in order to do effective tax planning:

  • Defer – A deferral strategy is to try to push having to pay tax now into future years.
  • Divide – Often called income splitting, dividing taxes implies the ability to take an income and spread it among a number of different taxpayers.
  • Deduct – A deduction is a claim to reduce your taxable income. A deduction will reduce your tax bill by an equal amount to your marginal tax rate.

Did you know that you can deduct:

  • Interest expenses
  • Union/professional dues
  • Alimony/maintenance payments
  • Employment expenses
  • Moving expenses
  • Professional fees
  • Child care expenses
  • Pension Plan Contribution

Final Thought

Sometimes tax planning will bring immediate benefits but often the benefits of tax planning take time to feel the rewards. Let’s start TODAY by looking at your current tax situation and implement solutions on how to reduce your tax bill.

Call us for an appointment and let’s start TODAY