It’s spring, and that means spring cleaning! Time to start going through the house, getting rid of old things, and cleaning from top to bottom. And with all the dusting, scrubbing, and organizing going on, you probably haven’t thought much about your finances. But your finances may need some cleaning too. By simply going through your finances and organizing them, your finances, along with your house, can have a fresh start this spring.
Here are some easy ways to organize and set yourself up for financial success:
- Organize your spending, and make a budget if you don’t already have one. Sit down and take a look at your spending over the past few months. Are you spending more than you should? How much are you spending on extra activities (ex: entertainment, dining out, merchandise,…)? If you have any problems overspending, now is the time to make a new budget. Assess where your money should be going each month based on your income and needs. And stick to that budget!
- Clean up your accounts. While you’re throwing out dusty old appliances, it’s also important to toss (or archive) dusty old checks, statements, and accounts. Having old paperwork sitting around may not do you any good. As long as you have records of your accounts, most of your bank statements can be tossed. However, make sure to shred documents that have valuable information on it (like a bank account number) so you don’t fall victim to identity theft! In addition, take a look at all your accounts. Be careful before closing old accounts as it can lower your credit score. But if you do have an old account with a high annual fee that you don’t use, you may want to think about closing it.
- Go paperless. Everything is done online nowadays anyways, so now is the time to go paperless. You won’t have to worry about digging through files looking for old bills and credit card statements, and you’ll even be making your home less cluttered in the process. Plus, when everything is online, you can set up direct deposits, automatic transfers, and payment reminders. Going paperless is a quick way to make your finances easier and more organized.
- Check your credit score. You can access your credit score from each of the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) each year for free from AnnualCreditReport.com. Take a look at your score, so you know where you stand. Also, check the report for any errors that may need to be fixed.
- Consolidate your accounts as much as you can. For example, if you have a lot of debt on many different credit cards, you may want to look into getting a balance transfer card. You can then consolidate all your debt onto that one card, making your life much easier. Plus, many balance transfer credit cards offer 0% APR for a specified period of time, so you can save a lot on interest!
So, include your finances this spring when you start cleaning. You’ll be surprised how great you feel after giving your finances some fresh air too!
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