Credit
April 7, 2017

How to Spring Clean Your Finances

Written By Jack Ryder
Last updated November 23, 2019

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Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Spring cleaning doesn’t just entail a series of chores you perform in your home or your yard. Your finances need to be checked, given a dust-off, aired out and wiped off so that you can keep them fresh, secure and hopefully in good standing.

Setting aside extra time when you prepare your taxes will provide you the opportunity to really take a good look at your finances. With all your financial information laid out in front of you, you can see your debt, your regular monthly expenses, your retirement savings, investments, insurance and other pertinent details. Then, consider these ways to spring clean your finances.

This will keep you organized and eliminate having to search through drawers or stacks of papers for your retirement account plan number or digging to find out what your homeowner’s policy covers. Keep digital files and make backups as well, if applicable. You can use trusted services like Carbonite to backup your files.

As you grow older, plans and needs change. Maybe you don’t need as much coverage anymore on your homeowner’s insurance, or maybe you’d like to switch your retirement account. An investment account might yield more than a savings account, and your life insurance policy may need to be updated.

Is it manageable, or are there just too many bills and expenses to keep up? Take the time to create a real budget, examining all debts and expenses, as well as what else you might spend money on during the month, such as food and gas. Then, see what can be eliminated or refined if necessary.

Perhaps you’ve got a few store cards floating around with small balances. Pay them off if you can. If you’ve got a few credit cards with higher balances, consider balance transfers to low or 0 percent interest rate cards or consolidation for an easier, singular monthly payment.

Knowing your score can give you a good idea of how you are doing, but checking your report can also alert you to any suspicious activity or items that are incorrect, such as a penalty for a debt not paid that you know has in fact been paid. If your credit report is a mess and your credit score is less than stellar, this might be a good time to try and fix it. You can try employing your own credit repair tactics or do your research and hire a top credit repair service.

Lastly, do you have a filing cabinet with tax returns and credit card bills dating back to 1996? You can probably get rid of them. Use a good shredder to destroy the documents that are long out of date, keeping only the last seven years’ worth, unless you deem something older especially important.

About the Author

Jack Ryder

Jack Ryder has been working as a reporter and writer in the personal finance space for many years. He enjoys breaking down complicated finance information into easy-to-read articles, so his readers can better navigate their financial lives. He is currently the Editor of the Credit Repair and Debt Relief categories, although enjoys writing about all things finance. Jack has had articles appear in publications from the Huffington Post to Business Insider. You can contact Jack at jack@simplethriftyliving.com

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