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Jeffrey Merwin
Jeffrey Merwin
Financial Management Network Registered Representative
https://www.fmncc.com/ (949) 455-0300

Jeffrey G. Merwin started with FMN in the rigorous mentorship program and has since become a Registered Representative with FMN Capital Corporation and an Investment Advisor Representative of Financial Management Network. He holds his Series 7 (General Securities Representative Exam) and 66 (Uniform Investment Adviser - Combined State Laws Exam) securities as well as a Life/Disability Insurance License. Jeff graduated from Bentley University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics-Finance and a minor in Law.


Jeff is dedicated to having an in-depth understanding of each of his client’s needs and goals. Jeff works with his clients to develop customized strategies that help meet his client’s unique needs in order to maximize cash flow, increase net worth, lower taxes, and ensure their estate plan meets their needs. If you are an individual, family or business owner Jeff can help you achieve your personal, professional, and financial goals. Jeff works with a team of Certified Financial Planner(tm) practitioners and Enrolled Agents to ensure his clients receive expert advice and best-in-class service.

Jeff is originally from Connecticut but has traded in the cold New England winters for sunny California and currently lives in Laguna Niguel. He enjoys the outdoors, is an avid sports fan and likes spending time with friends and family.

Budget Check Up: Tax Time Is the Right Time

Money Read Time: 3 min

Every year, about 150 million households file their federal tax returns. For many, the process involves digging through shoe boxes or manila folders full of receipts; gathering mortgage, retirement, and investment account statements; and relying on computer software to take advantage of every tax break the code permits.1

It seems a shame not to make the most of all that effort.

Tax preparation may be the only time of year many households gather all their financial information in one place. That makes it a perfect time to take a critical look at how much money is coming in and where it’s all going. In other words, this is a great time to give the household budget a checkup.

Six-Step Process

Budget Check Up

A thorough budget checkup involves six steps.

  1. Creating Some Categories. Start by dividing expenses into useful categories. Some possibilities: home, auto, food, household, debt, clothes, pets, entertainment, and charity. Don’t forget savings and investments. It may also be helpful to create subcategories. Housing, for example, can be divided into mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance.
  2. Following the Money. Go through all the receipts and statements gathered to prepare taxes and get a better understanding of where the money went last year. Track everything. Be as specific as possible, and don’t forget to account for the cost of a latte on the way to the office each day.
  3. Projecting Expenses Forward. Knowing how much was spent per budget category can provide a useful template for projecting future expenses. Go through each category. Are expenses likely to rise in the coming year? If so, by how much? The results of this projection will form the basis of a budget for the coming year.
  4. Determining Expected Income. Add together all sources of income. Make sure to use net income.
  5. Doing the Math. It’s time for the moment of truth. Subtract projected expenses from expected income. If expenses exceed income, it may be necessary to consider changes. Prioritize categories and look to reduce those with the lowest importance until the budget is balanced.
  6. Sticking to It. If it’s not in the budget, don’t spend it. If it’s an emergency, make adjustments elsewhere.

Tax time can provide an excellent opportunity. You have a chance to give your household budget a thorough checkup. In taking control of your money, you may find you are able to devote more of it to the pursuit of your financial goals.

1. IRS.gov, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

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