With the official start the Spring being March 20th, the entire country can now start shedding layers after a record-breaking winter. Along with spring comes nice temperatures, fresh crisp smells, and most importantly, spring cleaning. Typically, spring cleaning will consist of throwing out or donating unused items, organizing the house and cleaning the shed no one has touched since last spring; however, Spring is also a great time to clean up.
Check out these 3 ways to spring clean your finances:
- Set a goal: Although this sounds like an obvious tip, spring cleaning can engulf you if you don’t set parameters beforehand. Spring cleaning finances is usually even worse, so make sure you set goals up front. Some goals could be:
- Sort the top two drawers of the file cabinet
- Organize the dreaded ‘paperwork closet’
- Track and record receipts for the last 3 months
- Clear out the clutter: Just like cleaning out the garage, you should take time to go through old paperwork and see what you no longer need. Don’t go overboard and throw away everything. Here’s a quick breakdown of do’s and don’ts
- Tax Returns: Keep these forever, the IRS says this will help prepare future tax returns and show proof of filing taxes.
- Insurance Documents: If the document involves a claim, ask your insurance agent or company how long to hold on to them, just in case.
- Electronic Copies: Any paperwork or documents that are stored online should be ok to discard; BUT, if electronic documents are held by your bank, a financial company, or 3rd party, ask how long they retain electronic copies.
- Do A Financial Audit: With holidays in the rearview and summer fast approaching, now is a great time to see where you stand on your financial journey. Some questions to ask yourself would be:
- Are you on track for your retirement plan?
- Do you have the best tax exemptions for your situation?
- When was the last time you looked at your insurance coverage?
Spring Cleaning is looked forward to by some and dreaded by others. Regardless, it is an important part of the year because it allows you to review, renew, and refresh and regrow not only your household, but also your finances. These are just a few ways to stay on track with your finances, before making changes to your financial plan, speak to a financial professional today to understand your unique situation.
Disclosure: This information is provided as general information and is not intended to be specific financial guidance. Before you make any decisions regarding your personal financial situation, you should consult a financial or tax professional to discuss your individual circumstances and objectives.