4 Financial Mistakes to Avoid this Spring

Townsend Asset Management Corp |

Spring isn’t just about budding plants, changing the clocks, or paying your tax bill.

It can be the perfect time to refresh financial tasks and dust off your long-term goals.

As we begin a new season of financial “spring cleaning,” here are 4 (commonly made) mistakes you can prevent this year:

Mistake #1: Budgeting for 2023––Not 2024

A great first step to revitalizing your budget is a moment of reflection on this year’s goals.

Think vacations, purchases, new subscriptions––has your vision changed since 2023?

What do you envision for yourself this year?

And even if you’re certain your spending will be the same as it was in 2023, try not to hit “repeat.”

In doing some simple fine-tuning of your budget, you may identify some fresh opportunities and a renewed motivation to stick to your plan.

Tip: Take your budget review line item, by line item. It can be helpful to use the 50/30/20 method as a general rule of thumb, refining it from there. That would mean 50% of your budget is for your needs; 30% is for your wants; and the last 20% would be for savings and/or debt.1

Mistake #2: Automatically Renewing Insurance

Renewing your insurance every year doesn't guarantee the same coverage.

You also don’t need identical coverage for your vehicles, your home, your health, and other insurable items.

Take a look at your insurance coverage and your premiums before renewing in 2024. Check out the terms of your policies and ask your insurance provider about any changes from last year.

Tip: Take a look at what you can bundle and/or what incentives other insurance companies offer. If you’ve been loyal to a particular company and your premiums have gone up (yet again), now could be a great time to explore some new quotes and consider any “new customer” discounts you may qualify for.

Mistake #3: Losing Sight of Your Savings

What are your biggest financial regrets?

Most of us say not saving enough for retirement or a rainy day tops the list.2

Revisiting your saving strategies and habits yearly (if not more) can help ease the stress if and when those “rainy days” occur.

This year, consider a deeper dive into your accounts, whether that means earmarking more for savings, leaving some bad habits behind, or boosting your financial knowledge.

Tip: Set up automatic bank transfers to deposit a set amount into your savings account every week or month. You can also use apps to track your savings, find discounts, and deposit the change from your purchases into your savings account. Going the automated route can help you stay the course.

Mistake #4: Closing Too Many Credit Accounts at Once

You don’t want to keep old credit cards lying around—but you should also be mindful about how and when you shut down your existing lines of credit.

If you clean house too fast, you could hurt your credit score.

Consider why you want to close existing credit accounts before shutting them down. If it’s high fees or an available bonus with a new card, explore all your options with your current card before taking action.

Also, try to avoid carelessly opening new lines of credit. First, review the terms, annual fees, and if/how the account will fit your needs.

Tip: Review a copy of your credit report before you make any moves with your existing accounts. Also, consider scheduling alerts with your existing credit accounts so it’s easier to monitor them and stay on top of any suspicious activity.

An Easier Way to Declutter Your Finances

Our financial lives involve a lot of moving parts that don’t necessarily keep up with our shifting plans. No matter your current financial goals, some routine “spring cleaning" can help you make smarter decisions when it’s time for those annual renewals, yearly bills from Uncle Sam, and more. So can a financial professional.

This material has been prepared by a third party that is unaffiliated with Townsend Asset Management Corp. and is provided for informational purposes only. Townsend considers this third-party source and information to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. It may not represent the views of Townsend or its affiliates. It should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. Past performance should not be relied on as an indicator of future results. All investing assumes a certain degree of risk, including loss of principal. Townsend has obtained permission to distribute this material. Townsend Asset Management Corp. is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about the firm can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. TAM-24-23