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In the spring and early summer, you probably spend a good deal of time doing some spring cleaning around the house and in the yard. But this is also an ideal time to do some financial spring cleaning as well. Consider some or all of these 6 financial spring cleaning tips to better prepare your finances for the future.
Each year, you are entitled to receive one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus. You can also use other credit reporting services if you like, but there is typically a small charge for doing so. Check over your credit reports for any mistakes or outdated information. If you find anything that is not correct, you can contact the agencies to have it corrected.
Do you have a filing cabinet full of financial documents dating back to the last decade? You probably don’t need a good amount of those papers anymore. Purchase a shredder if you don’t already have one and shred any documents that you no longer need. As a good rule of thumb, it is recommended you keep any tax-related documents from the last 6 years. You can also scan older documents rather than keeping them in a drawer and cluttering up the area.
If you don’t already have a monthly budget that you follow, now is the perfect time to make one. If you do have a budget, it’s time to review it. Tally up all your regular monthly expenses, and also calculate in your average spending on groceries, gas, and other items you always need. Then calculate what you spend on other items, such as leisure activities. You should be able to eliminate or cut back on spending on things you might not need, such as magazine or newspaper subscriptions, or an expensive cable or phone bill.
You can make handling your budget and your finances easier by setting up automatic bill payments. In this manner, you’ll never have to worry about missing a payment and getting stuck with late fees.
With a budget in place, you can see how much you have left over to allocate some to paying off debts, such as credit card debt, a personal loan, or even debt left over from the holidays. Create a plan for paying off your debts, and you’ll soon be on your way to a happier and more secure financial future!