Five money moves to make this spring

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Most of us are familiar with the concept of “spring cleaning” when it comes to your home, but the spring season is also an ideal time to make some important decisions regarding your finances.

As you’re tackling your home improvement spring to-do list, add one more important task: cleaning up your finances.

“It can be challenging to reach your goals and feel in control of your financial future,” Jesse Abercrombie, financial adviser and general partner at Edward Jones, told FOX Business. “But by reviewing your situation every year and making the appropriate moves, much like a spring-cleaning routine, can help you keep moving in the right direction.”

De-clutter your finances

Eliminating clutter can result in a positive feeling – and more livable space. This philosophy can be carried over to your money management.

“As an investor, you can also find clutter in the form of redundant investments,” said Abercrombie.

For example, he said to ponder whether you own several nearly identical mutual funds.

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“You might want to consider selling some of these funds and using the proceeds to find new investments that can help you further diversify your portfolio,” Abercrombie said.

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To that point, he noted that diversification is a key in working toward investment success, but keep in mind that it doesn’t ensure a profit or protect against losses in a declining market.

Plant seeds of opportunity

Commonly, spring is a time when individuals plant trees, flowers and other greenery. This mindset can also be utilized as you plan your spring money goals.

“When you invest you need to plant seeds of opportunity in the form of investments that you hope will grow enough to enable you to make progress toward your goals,” said Abercrombie.

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He suggested that spring is a smart time to review your portfolio to ensure it’s providing this growth potential, given your individual risk tolerance.

Do a clean sweep to reduce risk

Have a goal to devote some spring-cleaning time to reducing potential hazards, and also devote your time to considering the possible threats to your financial security.

“For starters, review your life insurance to determine if you have enough,” said Abercrombie.

Your employer may offer some coverage as an employee benefit, but is it sufficient? Do you need to consider private coverage?

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“The same is true for disability insurance, because if something were to happen to you, and you couldn’t work for a while, you’d still want to protect your family’s lifestyle,” said Abercrombie.

Boost your “rainy day” fund

“Save for a rainy day” is an old piece of advice – and a timeless mantra.

According to Abercrombie, if you’re not prepared by having an emergency fund readily available to pay for an unexpected expense such as a temporary loss of employment, a major home or car repair or a large medical bill, you might be forced to dip into your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement accounts. This could cause you to incur taxes and possible penalties as well as lower the amount of money you’d have available for retirement.

“That’s why it’s a good idea to build an emergency fund containing up to six months’ worth of total expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account that’s separate from the accounts you use for your daily spending needs,” he recommended.

Seize the spring season to review bills and credit card accounts with a critical eye

Take an inventory of what you’re paying each month regarding recurring charges. Are you using all the services that you’re paying regularly for? Are there better alternatives?

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“Maybe you can cancel one or more streaming services, eliminate the landline or cancel the health club membership,” said Brad Stroh, co-founder and co-CEO of Achieve. “Then, redirect the funds you save to pay off debt, or to up retirement savings.”

How can small actionable steps create a good financial footing this spring?

Stroh said whether it’s trying to get out of debt or develop strong financial health, it’s important to make a plan.

“Saying you want to get out of debt, similar to saying you want to lose weight, is great, but the best intentions don’t constitute action plans,” he said. “You need to do your research and figure out a realistic plan that you can commit to.”

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