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Janice France-Pettit: Rejuvenate your finances this spring

Union Bank

Posted: April 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Spring is in the air, and the budding plants and trees may remind us that this is the season of new beginnings and possibilities.

Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees. But spring may be a fitting time to re-evaluate your finances and look for ways to infuse your household budget with more “green.”

Following are a few tips to help with your financial spring cleaning:

Review your budget
It is prudent to periodically review your household budget and determine if it is working for you and if there are areas where you could spend smarter and save more. Also take some time to revisit your short- and long-term goals for large expenses, such as college, purchasing a home or retirement, and make sure you are setting aside enough for them in savings.

Grow your savings
One of the simplest ways to make more money is to make your money work for you. Regular investments into savings and investment accounts early on can lead to future wealth, so take a look at your investment portfolio and look for ways to maximize your investments.

Make an appointment with your banker, financial planner or broker, who can offer guidance about how to invest and save money. You can also obtain information about investments, savings,and other financial information online or through books.
Many community colleges and adult education programs also offer financial-planning courses that you may consider.
Learn a new trade, skill

In this competitive job market, it is wise to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones that may make you more valuable to an organization.

Take advantage of job-related courses that may be offered by your employer, neighborhood community colleges or from vocational and trade schools.

If you must maintain full-time employment, investigate evening, weekend or online courses that may be available in your area of interest. 

Earn extra income
Explore ways to turn a passion into additional income by starting a side business. Utilize your skills and expertise and market yourself or your product. A side-business can help provide a creative outlet and additional income to help build a savings, provide a cushion for a rainy day or offer an extra source of income upon retirement. 

Janice France-Pettit is a senior vice president and regional manager for Union Bank, overseeing the Simi Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley region.

The foregoing article is general information about rejuvenating your finances and is not considered financial or tax advice from Union Bank. Please consult your financial or tax advisor. Ms. France-Pettit’s column represents her own views, and not necessarily those of The Signal. Visit www.unionbank.com for more information.

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