The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the temperatures are warming. Who doesn't love this time of year? Not only does spring remind us of the beauty of the outdoors, but it also reminds us to get our homes organized—in other words, to do a little spring cleaning.
This year, though, while you are cleaning the garage, shampooing the carpet, and organizing the closets, we suggest that you do a little spring cleaning in another area of your life—your money. Regardless of what baby step you are on and where you are on your journey to financial peace, you've got to stay organized to win with money.
So what exactly does a financial spring cleaning look like? We have some suggestions:
Clean out file drawers
Do you really still need that cable bill from August 1999? Seriously? You need to keep old bills, bank statements, tax documents, and other important papers for varying lengths of time. But utility bills, sales receipts for minor purchases, and ATM and bank deposit slips can be shredded after a few months.
Prune unnecessary expenses
Are you really getting your money's worth with that gym membership? Do you really need 250 cable channels? Is it necessary to have a landline and a cell phone? While you're organizing your file drawer this spring, take an in-depth look at your finances and see where you can cut back costs. This is especially important—and should be a top priority—if you are still working your way out of debt.
Update important documents
When was the last time you checked your car insurance? Your home insurance? Tax withholdings? Your will, 401(k) or Roth IRA? If it's been awhile, then now is the time to make sure you have all the coverages and investments you need. What made sense two years ago might not work for you today. In the middle of all this spring cleaning, make sure you are protecting yourself, your family and your future!
Spring is a great time to get re-energized and refocused on your financial situation before summer and all its distractions get here. The small amount of time you spend now getting your financial house in order will pay off for you in the long run."