Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Finances'/
spring cleaning finances

As the weather gets warmer, you may be thinking of doing a spring cleaning of your house or closet. That’s all well and good, but chances are that a month or two from now, your closet will have made its way back to its original cluttered state. However, if you instead decide to do a spring cleaning of your finances, you’ll benefit from it for months, if not years, to come. Here are some ideas on how you can start getting organized.

Set up automatic transfers.

It’s much easier to save money or pay down debt if you don’t even have to think about it. Set up automatic transfers and bill pays for as many of your accounts as you can. This will help you avoid incurring late fees on bills and help you bolster savings and accelerate debt pay downs by taking the thinking out of it. Taking the time to do this now will help you indefinitely! If you don’t feel comfortable setting up automatic transfers, set up bill pay reminders so that you never pay late fees.

Shred documents.

Often when you receive bills or statements in the mail, you’ll put them off to the side, which eventually leads to a large stack of papers that you don’t really need piling up. Take an afternoon to go through that pile and shred everything you don’t need. This will help you clear some clutter while making sure you don’t expose yourself to identity theft by throwing out papers with personal identifying information on them.

Go paperless.

This is a no-brainer, and you’ve probably already done it for most of your bills and statements, but if you haven’t, switch all of them to the paperless option. One way to do this is to get all of your bills and documents delivered through digital mailbox service, which lets you manage all of your bills and accounts in one place online and via mobile apps. This will mean fewer sheets of paper piling up on your kitchen table and allow you to save all bills in one folder on your computer for easy reference.

Align your automatic payments with your paycheck.

One good way to make sure your checking account accurately reflects how much money you really have access to is to align your bill payments with your paycheck. If you get paid every other Friday and your mortgage payment hits on a Wednesday in between, for a few days you’ll be looking at a fat checking account balance that includes money that is actually already earmarked for your mortgage lender. If you instead make sure that your payment gets sent out on payday, you won’t be confused about how much cash you really have on hand. Logging into your accounts to set up a better system of dates and you’ll help avoid confusion or inadvertent overdrafts in the future.

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Published March 13, 2014 Updated: March 17, 2014
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