If you've ever had a surprise tax bill or a large unexpected expense in the past, you've probably learned the value to wise financial planning. Even if you haven't had one of these financial emergencies fall into your lap, you probably know someone who has and have witnessed their struggles.
Not only is having your finances in order just the mature thing to do, but it will also teach you some important skills and put you in the best position to protect your family's financial future. Here are several ways that you can get your personal finances in order for 2017.
Set Some Financial Goals
A useful exercise when you have resolved to take a close look at your finances is to sit down and set some goals. If you've always had difficulty when tax time rolls around, perhaps better tax planning should go on that list. If high-interest debt is an issue for you, you might want to pay off debt to free up room in your budget. Write down some short-term and long-term financial goals.
Now that you have some goals, it's time to get organized. If you already keep a clean set of financial records, you're ahead of the curve. If not, it's time to put together some sort of filing system so that you can save and keep track of your financial documents. Whether you decide to do this on paper or electronically is a personal choice.
Properly Plan Your Taxes
While most people think of April as "tax time," it would be better to change the mindset to planning for taxes year-round. What this means is that the decisions you make in May, September, or December could have an effect on your tax bill. The IRS recommends that you make any withholding changes as soon as a life or financhange occurs. Keep your financial records organized (see above) and hold onto the records that will help you complete your tax return. Finally, understand basic tax law changes that could benefit you, or hire a professional tax preparer to help you maximize your return.
Create a Family Budget
Another way to get your finances in order is to first know how much you are spending and then create a budget for the future. Online tools such as Mint.com's budgeting app have made simple and almost enjoyable. Mint's system will integrate with your bank account so that you can see how much you are spending on certain types of items, such as groceries, and also has a goal-setting feature.
Start Planning For the Future
Once you've established a monthly budget, it's time to begin implementing some of those goals. As you slowly whittle down spending each month, you can put extra money towards such things as debt repayment, a college savings plan, a retirement fund, and a life insurance policy. If you haven't purchased a life insurance policy yet to protect your family's financial future, now is the perfect time to investigate this affordable and essential coverage.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the easier it is to make an intelligent choice. Everyday life, as well as certain events and circumstances, require you to make choices. And peace of mind is gained when you feel good about the decisions you make.
When it comes to life insurance, IntelliQuote is there for you to make the intelligent, well-informed choice. From term life insurance to universal life insurance and final expense insurance, we make it easy for you to compare, shop and save. Get multiple quotes now and make the intelligent decision for Life.