Planning matters

Spring Cleaning – Don’t Forget to Tidy Up Your Finances

Spring is finally here! Flowers are blooming and the days are warming up. No doubt many of us are planning on rolling up our sleeves to get some spring cleaning and projects done around our homes.

While we are making plans to spruce up our homes, it may also be a good time to be diligent about doing some financial spring cleaning to get organized and make sure we are on top of things. Below are a few tips and reminders to help with this task:

  • Since we are at the end of the first quarter of the year, how has your budget been holding up? It may be a good time to make any necessary adjustments to help ensure you meet your overall financial goals this year. Are you able to contribute more to your retirement savings? Is the balance in your emergency fund where it should be? Have you accumulated any debt over the winter that you can get paid off?
  • Review the automatic payments that are coming out of your bank account or charged to a credit card. Are there any memberships you should discontinue? If you pay bills online, are there creditors on your list that you don’t pay anymore? If so, delete those that are no longer relevant to keep your list current.
  • Have you been stacking up old bills and statements? Make time to organize them and get rid of what isn’t necessary. If you have statements or forms that you need to keep for future reference, consider saving a digital copy of them, if appropriate. This will help free up space and clutter. Be sure to shred old financial statements to help protect your personal information from identity theft.
  • Revisit your bank accounts to see if any of them should be consolidated or closed out. 
  • Have you checked your credit report lately? It may be a good time to review it to make sure everything looks accurate. You can request a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.    
  • Have you gone through your wallet lately? It’s a good idea to go through it and take out anything that isn’t necessary. Limit the number of credit cards you carry and make sure there aren’t any expired ones in there either.

Taking the time to ensure the pieces to your financial affairs are organized, current and in good shape will not only help protect you from fraud and financial harm but will also help you stay focused on your financial goals.

Written By Lana Alvarez