As the temperature finally warms up and spring starts getting sprung, a lot of us are focusing on cleaning out our homes and streamlining our lives.
That’s why our spring check-in has five to-dos to help you keep your finances tidy and be the master of your family life.
If it’s been a while since you last checked in on your spending and saving, now’s a good time. Look at your monthly totals for the past three months—have you been spending more than you’d normally expect? Are you on budget?
Go over three months of credit card transactions to see if your spending has taken on any unexpected patterns or if there are areas where you might want to cut back. If you have multiple credit cards (especially if you're working on paying off multiple balances), you might consider consolidating them through an app like Tally.
Life insurance can help protect your family if something were to happen to you. If you were to pass away while covered, the life insurance company would pay a “death benefit” to the person you designate, known as your beneficiary.
Spring cleaning is a good time to update your life insurance beneficiaries. If you’ve undergone any life changes like marriage, new children, divorce, deaths, falling outs with any loved ones … it’s worth taking a look at who you’ve designated as beneficiary to make sure it still feels right to you.
And if you don’t already have life insurance, you can apply for a policy in 10 minutes online with Fabric.
Summer camp ain’t cheap. And in the coronavirus world order, it may not even be an option. If you live somewhere that camp is still in session and you're hoping to fill your kid’s summer with tetherball and crafts, you should probably start budgeting for it now.
And if you're likely on watch-the-kids-all-summer-while-quarantined duty, now's a good time to do some long-term planning for your work life (and also a good time to take a breath and attempt to savor these non-optional moments with your family). Think, also, about creating a regular daily schedule and how you might make summer feel different for the kids from the school year.
Ideally, we should each check our credit score once each quarter to make sure that it’s trending in the right direction and that there are no unforeseen complications. For example, if your score dropped 50 points over the last couple months through no obvious action of your own, you should probably check whether there’s been any fraud or mistaken activity on your accounts.
Distinct from a credit report, your credit score is just a number broadly encapsulating how you’re doing credit-wise. There are several services that’ll let you get an estimate of your score for free, such as Credit Karma.
Looking to improve that score? One key way is to reduce your credit utilization ratio, or the amount of debt you put on your credit cards compared to the total amount you could put on them.
Even though “buy and hold” is often a good strategy for the long haul, it’s smart to check in regularly to make sure you’re on track for your retirement goals. Try using an online retirement calculator (we like this one from Bankrate) to see how much you might need for your retirement, and how close you are to hitting that goal.
If you’re not quite on track, see if there are any small ways you can nudge yourself back to where you need to be. For example, maybe you increase your 401(k) contribution at work, or you resolve to order takeout one fewer night a week and dedicate the savings to your retirement fund.
Whatever spring has been springing upon you, we’ve got one last to-do for you: Get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Want to see what's in store for next season? Check out our summer financial to-do list.
Fabric exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.
Fabric by Gerber Life exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.
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Term Life Insurance Policy Series ICC22 2205-4004 WSA and Accelerated Death Benefit Rider policy series ICC22 2205-2623 WSA (and state variations where applicable) issued by Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Cincinnati, OH which operates in DC and all states except NY, and distributed by Gerber Life Agency, LLC using Fabric Technologies. Gerber Life Agency, LLC is an affiliate of Gerber Life Insurance Company (est. 1967). All are members of Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern). Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Product provisions, availability, definitions and benefits may vary by state. Payment of benefits under the life insurance policy is the obligation of, and is guaranteed by, the issuing company. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Products are backed by the full financial strength of the issuing company.
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