By Young Boozer, Alabama State Treasurer
Vice Chairman of the College Savings Plans Network
April 21, 2014
It’s time to spring clean your finances. You won’t need a mop, bucket or soap. You don’t need to get down on your knees and scrub. But you will need to gather some tools and some supplies. And you will need to get busy.
Americans have just completed the annual ritual of filing their income taxes for 2013. The data is fresh. The numbers are current. Now is the time to begin spring cleaning your financial house to get into “spic and span” shape for the rest of this year and beyond.
Get prepared for a clean start. Stack up your family wages and income. Dust off those deductions. Scrub expenses to make sure you are using your resources in the most efficient manner. What you will uncover is how much you can clear for savings and investments. It’s a residue you can live with.
Since you are reading this blog, you probably have a child or a grandchild who plans on going to college. This is where you sweep together that available cash in order to fund a 529 plan. You should brush up your investment skills and look to learn new ones. Right here on this website you can gather up-to-date information about your options. Your most pressing task is to begin the process.
It is well known that when you are investing for a significant future goal like a college education you should start as early as possible. Setting up a monthly automatic deposit in an amount with which you feel comfortable is a smart way to start. Over time, you will be taking advantage of dollar cost averaging and growing your investment to meet your college saving objectives. My father always told me that compound interest is the 8th Wonder of the World. He was right. When the monies are invested in a 529 plan you are using the best method available today.
This season’s goal is to get things in order. You need to review your situation. You should plan for the future. You must implement your plan. Spring into action!
Freshening up your finances will lead to better financial outcomes in your future. It will pay dividends to your investments and for your college student.
The final tip is to clean and check under the cushions on the sofa. It may be spare change, but it will add up in the long run. (See compound interest above.)
About the Author:
Young Boozer is the current Vice Chair of CSPN and has served as Alabama’s 39th State Treasurer since January 2011. As State Treasurer he serves as Chairman of the Board for Alabama’s 529 Fund, CollegeCounts, and Alabama’s prepaid plan, PACT. Treasurer Boozer has used his 40 years of financial experience in investments and banking to dramatically improve Treasury operations for Alabama’s citizens.