It’s that time of year again – the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and it’s time to do some financial spring cleaning.
Just like you would clean your house from top to bottom to get rid of all the dirt and dust, you need to do the same thing with your personal finances.
Here are nine steps that will help you get started.
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Why Is Financial Spring Cleaning Necessary?
Financial spring cleaning is necessary because it helps you get rid of all the financial clutter built up over the past year. It gives you a chance to start fresh and ensure that your financial accounts are in order.
When you declutter your finances, it will be easier to stay on top of your bills, save money and make sound financial decisions.
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1. Unsubscribe From Unused Services
The first step is to unsubscribe from any services you are no longer using. Examples are a subscription service, email list or even who you follow on social media account. If you’re not using it, there’s no point in paying for it.
Review your credit card and bank statements to find any recurring charges you didn’t use last month or don’t recognize and cancel them immediately.
Cleaning up those unused subscriptions feels great, doesn’t it?
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2. Update Your Budget
The second step is to update your budget. Take a look at your income and expenses and see where you can make changes. Maybe you can cut back on some of your spending or increase your income by picking up extra work hours.
It’s essential to be realistic about what you can and cannot change – don’t try to overhaul your budget overnight. Just make minor tweaks that will help you save money over time.
It’s important to update your budget periodically because your needs will change over time.
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3. Go Through and Organize Financial Documents
The third step is to go through and organize your financial documents. Go over your bank statements, credit card bills, retirement plans and anything else related to your finances. It’s a good idea to create folders or labels for each type of document so that you can find what you need quickly and easily.
Although tedious, it is crucial to keep track of your documents when you need them.
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4. Review Your Insurance Policies
The fourth step is to review your insurance policies. Make sure that you have adequate coverage in case of an emergency. Review to ensure you don’t have extra coverages you don’t need.
If you have any questions about your policies, now is the time to call your insurance agent. Don’t wait until something happens, and then realize that you’re not covered. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you understand your insurance policies.
You may also find that you can save money by switching to a different insurance company or by updating a current one.
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5. Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
The fifth step is to start thinking about your taxes. You may also need to start thinking about estimated tax payments if you are self-employed or have other income that is not subject to withholding.
If you think you may need the assistance of a tax advisor, now is the time to contact one. No one likes doing their taxes, but it’s an important part of being a responsible adult.
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6. Check-In On Your Debt
The sixth step is to check in on your debt. Make sure you are making all of your payments on time and not accruing any new debt. If you have any extra money, put it toward paying off your debt.
Make sure you are up to date on how much you owe and make any adjustments if your income has changed at all.
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7. Review Your Estate Plan
The seventh step is to review your estate plan. Look over your will, power of attorney, and any other legal documents that dictate what will happen to your assets after you die.
Make sure everything is up to date and that your loved ones know where to find these documents.
It’s also a good idea to review your life insurance policy to make sure it still meets your needs.
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8. Check-In On Your IRA or 401(k)
The next step is to check in on your retirement plan (IRA’s or 401(k). Make sure that you are contributing the maximum amount allowed and that your investments are still appropriate for your age and stage of life.
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9. Shred Old Financial Documents
The final step in financial spring cleaning is to shred any old financial documents. Shredding these documents will help protect you from identity theft and keep your personal information safe.
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Start Cleaning Today
Financial spring cleaning is a necessary process that everyone should be doing every year. It’s a great way to get organized and make sure you are on track for your financial goals.
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