We’re past spring and nearly into midsummer, but that doesn’t mean the surge of spring cleaning stops. It’s never too late to start re-organizing your life, especially your finances! You may be sitting on subscriptions you haven’t used in a couple of months that are devouring your money, or you haven’t really looked over your budget? (How much do I devote to retirement? Yikes.)
Cleaning up your finances is simple. Today we’re going to share eight ways to spring clean your finances. Just whip out your cloths and let’s get to cleaning up these numbers!
1. Check your progress on your financial goals.
Over the past year, a lot of things might have changed. Let’s be real; over the holidays, sometimes we spend more than we planned and that puts us at a different financial position than we originally had. Not to mention that the goals you set at the beginning of the year may have been a little ambitious.
(We are guilty of this.)
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t force your way past unexpected events. Doing so will make your budget start to feel tense and soon you may feel the same way.
That’s why now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning on your budget, especially if you’re using a one-year spending plan.
What? You’re not? Well don’t worry, we’re here for you. Click here to grab your free budget template.
2. Check your credit report and score.
Make sure that your report and score are accurate and that there are no surprises. I checked my credit report and realized that there was a 90-day late fee from a credit card I had never used! You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the major credit bureaus, so take advantage of that and check your credit report!
3. Adjust your tax withholding.
If you’re like most people, you waited until the deadline in April to file your taxes, so you have a good idea of what your tax withholding should be. Or, maybe you got a raise. Now is a great time to pull out your W-4, do your calculations, and make sure that your withholding is where it needs to be.
4. Increase your retirement savings.
Since it’s the beginning of the year, you might have gotten a little raise and a bit of a tax refund. That means it’s the perfect time to increase your savings for retirement because it won’t impact your budget since you haven’t gotten used to that extra money yet. Go ahead and place that extra money into your retirement savings; you’ll thank yourself in the future!
5. Readjust/redo your budget.
I touched on this earlier, but it’s important to remember that your budget is not a one-and-done sort of thing. You want your budget to be flexible as life comes and goes. There’s no better time to peek at your budget and change things as needed!
6. Check in on your spending habits.
You might have developed some slippage in your habits; losing the good ones, developing bad ones. Take the time to put your habits back in check. Do you really need that winter sweater just because it’s on sale now? Do you have to go out tonight? Probably not.
7. Check your legal documents to add/change any beneficiaries or assets based on life changes.
As those life changes come it’s a good idea to make sure that everything is up to date on your legal documents. You’re going to want to reevaluate your estate plan to stay up to date with where your assets are going and who will be making important decisions in case something happens to you.
8. Digitize records and clean up filing cabinets.
This is legit cleaning. In terms of what to keep and what to get rid of, here are some good rules of thumb:
- Anything tax related, keep it for 7 years.
- If it involves your house, you should keep it until you have sold that house for tax purposes.
- Loans should be kept until the loan is paid off and is shown as paid on your credit report.
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