Financial Tips from a State Treasurer

Things to do ListFrom checking Unclaimed Property to setting up automatic bill payments, here are some simple tips each of us can use to keep our finances organized this year.

Although you may not live in Missouri and it may not be "spring cleaning" season, Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel offered sound financial advice in a column from The South County Mail entitled"Spring cleaning? Don’t forget your finances." Mr. Zweifel has some "simple tips" on estate planning and taking care of money that you can do any time of the year.

For Texans, Susan Combs serves as the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  The Comptroller's office features a robust website that outlines the state's financial state and offers resources for residents, along with "Unclaimed Property" listings.

Review and eliminate unnecessary expenses. Keep track of your subscriptions and automatic payments. If you have not watched your movie channels in months, cancel the subscription and save some money.

Set up an automatic payment to your savings account. Try to save money when you can, whether it is an emergency fund or for an upcoming purchase. Make it easier to pay yourself first, and over time it will become just another part of your monthly budget. You should also set up automatic payments. It isa good way to ensure that you are always up to date on your payments and avoid late fees.

Make sure you have appropriate insurance. Insurance is a critical safety net in the event of an emergency. Take some time to look through all of your plans and make sure you have the coverage that best matches your needs.

Finally, create or update your estate plan. The article warns that this will not earn you extra money, but it is crucial in planning for your financial future. Make sure your estate plan is up to date and that it includes all relevant assets. Talk to your estate planning attorney about a revocable living trust and/or beneficiary designations to avoid probate.

There can be some complicated questions when it comes to finances and taxes. Speak with an estate planning attorney and make sure that you do your "spring cleaning" even in the middle of summer!

For additional information on estate planning in Houston, please visit my website.

Resource: South County Mail [Rogersville, Missouri] (April 3, 2014) "Spring cleaning? Don’t forget your finances"

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