As the snow melts and the weather begins to warm, you might be thinking of giving your house a good scrub down in the name of “spring cleaning.” But why not take a weekend to spring clean your finances as well? If you’re feeling guilty about already dropping the ball on some of your financial New Year’s resolutions, now is the time to redeem yourself. Below are some tips for getting your money organized to serve you better for the rest of the year, and beyond.
Audit your budget
Make a list of all your monthly expenses and their amounts. Is there a lingering membership or subscription you’re not making a good use of that you can cut to free up some cash? Is it time to increase your contributions to your retirement accounts to be more in line with your long-term goals? There’s no time like the present to make sure everything is organized.
Review your credit cards
Are you getting the best value out of your credit card? Do a quick financial audit of your balances, and take the time to review where and how you spend your money so you can create a budget. Identify the cards you use every day, and whether you’re earning the most rewards for your spending. You may decide to get rid of some credit cards or switch to ones with better benefits, such as the best cash-back credit cards or best travel rewards credit cards.
Trim down your bank accounts
When many people think of organizing their finances, they think about trimming expenses, but you might want to consider trimming the number of financial accounts you have. Closing accounts you don’t use reduces your vulnerability to fraud, as well as makes it easier to track your monthly income and expenses.
Automate your finances
If you’re often surprised by a fast-approaching payment due date, it might be time to schedule your bill payments to happen automatically. To avoid any late fees or penalties, make sure to schedule payments to happen at least three business days before the bill is due.
Check your credit score
One of the easiest ways to keep your finances in good standing and ensure you’re making progress towards your financial goals is to check your free credit score. This number gives a quick snapshot as to how well your managing your debt, and is important to know if you plan to apply for a large loan in the near future, like a mortgage.
Make sure your insurance coverage is the right fit
Major life changes such as a move, marriage, or birth of a child can have a drastic impact on your finances, including what you need to protect. Review your insurance coverage to ensure you are adequately covered in the instance of an emergency.
A clean bank account feels as good (or better) as a clean home, so take the time to spring clean finances now so you can spend the summer treating yo’self, guilt free.
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