Spring Cleaning Your Finances

When spring fever hits and you are giving your house the top-to-bottom cleaning, don’t forget your finances!

  1. Review your budget. This is probably the most important piece, so start here.  Review your past few months spending.  Do you notice any problem spending areas?  Perhaps you need to adjust your budget on some items, increasing or decreasing.
  2. Clean up your accounts. Consolidate accounts if possible.  If you have multiple accounts open that you rarely use, consider closing the unused accounts.
  3. Opt for less paper. Today most accounts offer paperless options.  Not receiving these paper bills and statements can cut back on those cluttering piles of mail taking over your kitchen counter.
  4. Check your withholding. Tax return checks seem wonderful.  But if you received a large return this year, it just means that you gave Uncle Sam an interest-free loan out of your paychecks throughout the year.   You should aim to achieve a balance, so adjust your withholding as needed to get there.
  5. Create a home inventory. It is important to have a home inventory of all your possessions.  Take photos and indicate approximate amount you paid for each item.  This will make things much easier if disaster strikes and you need to file a claim on your homeowners or renters insurance.
  6. Shop around. If it’s been awhile since you checked for better rates on your car insurance, cable, cell phone plan, or other recurring items, now is the time.
  7. Check up on insurance coverage. Call your agent and review your policies.  If it’s been awhile, changes may be in order.  For instance, if you’ve recently had a child or had a significant salary raise you may need to upgrade your life insurance.
  8. Sort out paperwork. Take time to sort through paperwork and files, being sure to shred any discarded documents that contain personal information.