Spring Clean Your Finances
There are lots of things you can organize come the spring, but at the top of the list this year should be your finances. It’s the perfect time to make sure you’re making the right choices for your money and achieving your financial goals. It’s important to re-evaluate your finances at least once a year.
1. Update your budget
If you’ve gotten a raise, gotten into debt, or had any other type of financial change since you last created a budget, it’s time to create a brand new budget with the new numbers. If you have only gotten a raise since your last budget, you might want to add more to your savings each month. If you’ve accumulated debt, you will need to reorganize your budget so that you can pay more each month.
2. Have a credit check done
If you’re in debt or not, having your credit score checked at least once a year is important to your finances. If you’ve always had a good credit score and suddenly it’s bad, you need to figure out why. If you’re not in debt, then someone may have stolen your identity.
3. Organize papers
It’s important to keep your financial papers organized because you never know when you’ll need them. Don’t just throw them into a box or in a pile of papers in your home office. Set up file folders for your bills, bank statements, investments, and important receipts. It’s recommended that you keep bills for a year and then you can shred them.
4. Shred old papers
While you’re going through your papers to organize, shred the bills that are more than a year old and old ATM slips that you have matched up with bank statements. You don’t need to hold on to ATM slips as long as you know the balance of your account. These things only take up space if saved for longer than necessary. You want to hold on to papers related to mortgages and investments, so don’t shred those.
5. Downsize credit card use
If you keep multiple credit cards with you at all times, decide which two you want to use and put the others away. You don’t need access to so many credit cards. Having many cards available for use means there’s more of a chance that you can end up getting into debt. It’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve spent on each card. Use this time to put the majority of your cards away.
Take time this spring to organize your finances the way your normally do with other areas of your life.