Start the new year by taking inventory of your finances - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Start the new year by taking inventory of your finances

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013 2:45 pm

As we close out another year and look forward to a new and hopefully more prosperous one, it is a good time to take inventory on where we stand financially in order to better prepare for the year ahead.

Sometimes we think we know the basics without having to go back through records to see what the reality of the situation is. It is revealing, however, to look in more detail at how much money we having coming in the door and even more so how much money is going out the door — and where it is going.

The first part of your financial inventory is looking at just that — income and expenses. Start by going through your income and expenses off the top of your head. Estimate what you pay monthly for rent/mortgage, electric/gas, water, cable, Internet, cell/home phone, home maintenance, transportation expenses, food (eating out and groceries), clothing/dry cleaning, HOA dues, insurance premiums, secured loan payments, daycare, pet expenses, children’s extra-curricular activities, work-related expenses, etc. Now, take a look at your paychecks over the past four to six months and get an average of monthly take-home pay. Does it differ from your estimate? Go through bank statements or invest in home bookkeeping software. See if you may be spending more in certain areas than you thought. One of the areas where we see the biggest discrepancy between what people think they are spending versus what they actually are is food. Groceries are becoming more expensive and eating out adds up quickly. Compare the total expenses against your total income. What we want to see is that after expenses, you still have disposable income for savings, emergencies, traveling, or for a rainy day.

The other aspect of your financial inventory is the asset versus debt comparison. Make a list of the assets you have and their estimated value, i.e. home, car, retirement accounts, savings, etc. and add up your total value in assets. Draw a line down the page and on the other side of the line list your debts, i.e. mortgage, car loan, student loans, credit card balances, taxes, etc. and add those together. Ideally your assets outweigh your debts.

If your situation is one where tightening the belt in certain areas will do the trick to put you back to where you need to be in your financial inventory, you have taken your first step toward solving the problem — educating yourself on the numbers. Now you can formulate a plan for success. If you look at your income versus expenses and see nothing left for a rainy day or even to make payments on high balance credit cards or lines of credit that are currently due, taking action right away is important. If your income does not support a hefty car or home mortgage payment due to decreased income or job loss, it may mean calling your lenders to inform them of the circumstances and ask for help, or it may mean seeking advice from a bankruptcy attorney.

Whatever you ultimately decide to do to make sure your financial situation is on the right track, it is important to know your options. Talking to a financial consultant, bankruptcy attorney, or accountant may give you insight into options you didn’t know existed before, or at a minimum you will have a second pair of eyes to look at your financial inventory and confirm what you already know.

• Denise K. Aguilar is a local attorney whose Ahwatukee Foothills practice focuses in consumer bankruptcy, personal injury, and family law. Reach her at (480) 455-1881.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Silver Alert issued for 70-year-old Conan Lear Nelson

PHOENIX - A Silver Alert has been issued for a 70-year-old man last seen Sunday afternoon. Phoenix police say Conan Lear Nelson went missing f…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:54 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

10 Metro Phoenix Restaurant Openings to Look Forward to in the Second Half of 2016

Lauren Cusimano A A Since we rang in the new year six months ago, the metro Phoenix area has seen a slew of new restaurant openings, including…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:42 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/10-metr…

A dramatic increase in heat records is coming, new study says

This week's brutal heat wave across the Southwest is nothing compared to what we'll see in 45 years, if a new study's forecast is accurate. Th…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 10:24 pm @ http://azdailysun.com/news/local/a-dramatic-increa…

Phoenix police: Teens playing with guns ends with one of them in the hospital

PHOENIX - A teenager was rushed to the hospital after being shot in Phoenix Monday night. Crews were called to the scene near 19th Avenue and …

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:54 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

It’s complicated: Marijuana growers, processors in Oregon face location woes

EUGENE, Ore. — As recreational marijuana cultivation emerges from decades in the shadows in Oregon, residents face a vexing challenge: Where w…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:23 pm @ http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/06/27/oregon-recre…

Scottsdale ranks fifth in best places to retire; Mesa, Phoenix land in top 20

Scottsdale is a great place to spend your golden years. That's according to a new study released by Bankrate.com. The consumer finance website…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:23 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/money/scottsdale-ranks-fifth-…

What is Article 50? The key to Brexit

Driving in Canada Canada - a home away from home Canada, it's time to change! Living with a disability in Indo-Canadian society The empire str…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:13 pm @ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/What-i…

Watergate Saga

SHARE:Probably you think authors make a lot of money.  Only a few can support themselves on their writing income.  But there’s one perquisite …

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:12 pm @ http://authorsbillboard.com/2016/06/watergate-saga/

Report: Suns to play two games in Mexico next season

PHOENIX- A recent report indicates the Phoenix Suns will play two games next season in Mexico. The report says the Suns will play the San Anto…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 9:11 pm @ http://www.12news.com/mb/sports/nba/suns/report-su…

Dolphins Will Be Shipped To The Arizona Desert So People Can Swim With Them

Last week, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, announced that it would be returning its captive dolphins to the ocean to live out th…

Published: June 27, 2016 - 8:53 pm @ https://www.thedodo.com/dolphinaris-arizona-captiv…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…