Spring isn’t just a great time to clean up your house and get it in order, it’s also the perfect time to revamp your finances. With a few steps, you can start to get your money in order, reduce finance-related stress and start enjoying the warm weather.
Creating a simple filing system to organize all your paperwork is good place to start. Hang on to your important documents, like tax records, for seven years. You can save them digitally or as hard copies. Make sure to put your important documents in a place you can easily find them. Shred any unneeded statements, bills, expired credit cards or other records that contain identifying information or account numbers. There is no need to keep paper records forever. If you’re unsure about whether to get rid of a document, just scan it and save in your electronic records. Consider lightening the load in your purse or wallet too. You can leave documents like your Social Security card and passport at home until they are necessary. Carry only what you need on a daily basis.
Get Your Spending Under Control
Today spending is incredibly easy with one-click shopping online, automated payment systems and thousands of offers bombarding you through apps and internet sites. Control your impulse shopping by avoiding places where you might buy something and eliminating triggers such as browsing favorite online shops or buying something to help make you feel better. Focus on doing things with friends and family instead of fixating on material possessions. When it comes to spring cleaning your finances, the real key is to spend less than you earn and curbing temptation is a big part of that.
Update Your Budget
Now that we are a few months into 2017 you should check to see how you’re doing. Reassess your budget to see if you are over, under or hitting the mark. If you aren’t on track, consider updating your budget to reflect your current spending habits and needs. Take into account any life events that have occurred recently or may happen in the future, like a job change, new house, or any long-term savings goals you may have.
Consider Consolidating Your Accounts
Along with simplifying your financial life, consolidating your money will help you have greater control of your finances, improve tax efficiency and allow you to more effectively manage your assets. If you decide to consolidate, make sure you consider all investment options. The potential benefits and opportunities to save money, such as lower fees under one provider, can make consolidation worthwhile, but take the time to do it wisely. Ask yourself questions – Can you consolidate any accounts that you don’t use or rarely use? Have you considered rolling over old retirement accounts from previous employers?