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heartDid you know that integrating a financial tune up month into your busy year can lessen your stress, protect your finances, your relationships and improve your overall health? That's a tall task, I know, but it's true. Think of it like having your oil checked, cleaning your furnace, having an annual physical or spring cleaning. By adding your financial welfare to the list of annual 'things to do', you will prevent stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety will destroy relationships, happiness and ultimately your health. You don't want that; do you?

 Pick a month; your birthday or the first day of spring, summer or fall. Winter never works; everyone is preparing for the holidays. Why add the stress. So, let's say June 1st is your perfect time to perform a financial tune-up. If you're newlyweds, this is a good habit to get into now, and it will provide you with a solid foundation for a happy financial life. If you're old like me then it's never too late to learn new tricks. No excuses.

 Think of it as if you were going on a trip; you need to know where you are before you can figure out how to get where you want to go; Paris, college or retirement. And then you need to do the tune-up to make certain you arrive safely.

  Regardless of age or financial circumstance there are at least 5 issues you need to address annually to stay financially healthy and happy.
heart1 ) Order your credit
heart2 ) Make certain you're paying the lowest possible interest rates on all debt. 3) Check on your insurance policies; coverage, names, disaster insurance, beneficiaries, etc.
heart4) Perform the same check up on all legal and identity documents to make certain they're not expired and that the info is updated; wills, bank statements, drivers license, passports, real estate deeds, etc. Sadly, no matter what your age, tragedy happens. Don't leave your loved one’s name off your insurance or bank accounts. When that happens, tragedy strikes twice.
heart5) Finally, if your future plans rely on your ability to budget today, revise that budget. Make certain both spouses, all children and even your friends understand you have a commitment and need to stay on track with your pledge to the future so you will arrive safely.
If Christmas shopping will upset your budget, now (June) is a good time to set some limits and get prepared. If you haven't created a livable, formal budget check out the free budgets at Google docs or look for one in office supply/stationary stores or the library. Or simple take a yellow pad and design your own.
There is a budgeting section in my book, Romance & Money – 12 Conversations Every Couple Should Have available at Amazon Kindle, or in color at Smashwords and Barnes and Nobles Nook. Remember, by charting your future you take control of your destiny and live a fuller, happier and more fulfilling life. Good luck!

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