Spring is a great time to clean up your finances as well as your home. Here's how to clean up your finances for Spring.
When it comes to Spring cleaning, most people think of the physical places in their life that need a good cleaning out: the closet, the yard, the garage and your kitchen. Spring cleaning can be applied to just about anything you want it to because it is just going out with the old and in with the new. Your finances could probably use a bit of sprucing up, so don't forget about them when you get started on your Spring cleaning projects. Here's how to clean up your finances for Spring.
How to Clean up Your Finances for Spring
Finish paying off any debt from the holidays. By now, you should be getting closer to paying off any debt you took on over the holidays. If you are not quite there yet, here are some tips to help you get your budget back on track after the holidays. In the future, plan to take on very little debt for the holidays by saving for them ahead of time rather than relying on credit.
Decide what trips you take when the weather warms up and start planning accordingly. You could start putting small amounts away each paycheck or cut some expenses so you can afford it when the time comes. Having a short-term financial goal is a great motivator to get your finances in order.
Make any necessary updates to your budget. Your income, expenses, and needs change from year to year. Stop using last year's budget and look for ways you can adjust accordingly. For instance, do you find yourself with no time for TV anymore? Consider shutting off your cable and getting a streaming service such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, which are significantly cheaper.
Take stock of your assets and adjust them. Does your insurance provide enough coverage? Do you need to add more or less coverage? What about your bank account? Could you switch to a bank that offers more services you truly need with fewer fees?
See what's on your credit report. You can look at your credit report once a year for free from the 3 main credit reporting services. Take a look at yours every Spring and see if there are mistakes on it or positive things that need to be added and correct accordingly.
Go through financial paperwork and do a deep clean. Throw out last year's documents and papers that are not relevant anymore. Make copies of things that are still relevant. Consider getting second copies of important documents such as car titles. Do a thorough revamping of your financial paperwork and make it easy to find things. Consider getting a small paper shredder for those documents that are going in the garbage so you can protect your information. It may not be useful to you anymore, but to someone stealing identities, it can be very useful.
Change passwords for bank accounts and credit cards. A change in seasons is a great time to update. This way, you only have the same password or pin for 3-4 months out of the year. Changing them frequently keeps the chance of your information getting stolen to a minimum.
What do you plan to do with your finances this Spring? Do you do a financial Spring cleaning every year or are you going to start? I would love to hear about it in the comments!