Spring Clean Your Finances with these Steps
As soon as the weather gets warmer, you may be thinking about home spring cleaning. Yes, it is time for you to do some cleaning and get rid of things that are not of use anymore. And while you are at it, you may want to take advantage of the chance to spring clean your finances also. To help you with it, below are the eight steps you can apply.
Start with a budget
Whether you call it a budget or spending plan, for sure, it is one of the most important pieces of financial planning. Spend an afternoon to check your spending in the last few months. Are there any problem areas in your spending? Are there parts where your budget is over than what you have to? Upon seeing these things, adjust accordingly.
And while you are doing it, also check how well you have been sticking into your budget. If you are constantly tweaking it throughout the entire month, then you are spending so much time on it. You can simplify your budget by making broader and fewer changes. With this, you can keep track of your spending while your budget takes up less headspace.
Clean Your Accounts
This is the best time to consolidate your accounts, toss the dusty and old checks, and get rid of the unused accounts. If you happen to have multiple bank accounts that you do not often use, you can close some of them. And if you are not happy with your bank, this is also the time to switch.
You should also be checking your retirement accounts. A lot of people have a minimum of one retirement account from their old employer. So, instead of having to deal with multiple accounts, you can roll your old accounts to new ones so you can streamline your savings for retirement.
The majority of accounts today, whether it’s a utility account, checking, or student loan account, have paperless options. By not getting those paper bills in the mail, you can cut back piles of paper. This spring go paperless if possible, and the environment will thank you for that.
Check Your Withholding
A tax return check seems wonderful. But if you happen to get a big return this 2020, this means that Uncle Sam just got an interest-free loan from your paycheck for the entire year.
When you set up your withholding, the aim is to get a balance. You need to get as much as possible in the paycheck without having to own the IRS some when as soon as you file your tax. Thus, adjust your withholding to reach this point.
If you have a renter or homeowner insurance, it is a must to have a home inventory of your possessions. This inventory will make it easier for you to replace items when a disaster happens.
If you don’t have one, be sure to make one now. Take a picture of all items in your home, especially your furniture and electronics. Then, write an estimated amount that you paid for them and keep the receipts of the new item you bring in your home.
If it has been quite a while since you last shopped for a cellphone plan, better car insurance rates, cable, or other recurring items, it is time to do so. It would be best if you did this at least once a year or twice, to be sure that you are not paying more for the services. Even if you are buying a long-term investment property like a car or a house, for that matter, you might want to shop around. For instance, before crash landing on the first car you see, you might want to see different cars, compare prices using information available on different websites (https://invoice-pricing.com/, for one), decide on the model, and more. All these can be some good practices to keep up with regard to your spending.
When did you last reviewed your life or homeowner’s insurance policy? It might be time to give it a check.
Acquire copies of your policy documents to make sure that you have enough coverage. For example, you might need to upgrade your current life insurance. Also, as the cost of housing rises, you might need to upgrade your homeowner’s insurance policy to be sure that you can rebuild if a total loss happens.
Sort out the paperwork
This is a crucial step when cleaning your home and finances. Take your time as you sort through your files and paperwork and shred those documents that you do not need anymore.
For example, it is recommended by the federal government that you keep your bank statements only for a year and discard your tax documents after seven years. Just be sure that you properly shred those documents that include your personal information.