It’s very important to clean-up your finances at least once a year! I swear your closets aren't the only place you're hoarding ridiculousness!!! By gathering up your documents, even current insurance documents & taking a nice deep look into your current financial situation, it will not only help with the spurge spending, but will also show you the financial changes that took place over the year, the good, the fab & the ugly.
Summer is my favorite time of year with the nonstop sunny days, picnics,barbecues & poolside chillen, so I don’t want to think about money when I could be soaking up some much missed Vitamin D. However I also don’t want anxiety about money hovering over my fun either. So pick a day my friends and go through this checklist of financial spring cleaning so you can enjoy summer financially stress free. I even included a printable to help you stay organized through out the year!
Dig out your auto, home, life and health policies. It's crazy how much can change in only a year, so definitely review your premiums, deductibles and beneficiaries and ensure it all still meets your needs. Maybe a higher deductible with a lower premium is right for you now, or maybe you can afford a more comprehensive plan. Make sure your insurance provider knows about any changes you’ve made to your home, such as adding a security system or building an addition. This may lower your monthly payment. A great place you should check out online is PolicyGenius to help figure out what coverage you need and to compare rates. The kind folks at PolicyGenius will even assess your insurance gaps, over coverage and even areas for potential savings through a 5-minute Q&A that analyzes your financial and family situation to provide you with tailored feedback. Perfect for someone like me who can easily get confused with insurance talk! Let the professionals do it for you to avoid any blonde moments from happening!
Ok, so how do your numbers look? If you don’t have a budget, then make one. NOW! You have to know your numbers. What does it cost you to live? The basics! What do you spend over & above what you need to live? Decide where the dollars are going that bring you the least amount of satisfaction & benefit. (Note to the hubby's: Do not & I repeat DO NOT start enumerating the personal care costs of your wifey, unless you are willing to endure the same grilling on your spending.)
Spring cleaning isn't only about de-cluttering - it's also about making things more efficient.You know that amazing feeling when you get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in a few years? Getting rid of that filing cabinet filled with old bills and credit card statements can feel just as freeing. Set up automatic bill pay, and link it to your primary checking account. Automatic bill pay will eliminate the chances of missing a payment, paying those pesky late fees & receiving that extra piece of mail!
Get rid of services that you just don’t use. Reconsider Netflix or Hulu if you have overlapping services like premium cable or Amazon prime (or vice versa). Did you make a New Years resolution to hit the gym, buy a membership, but haven't been in months?!?! Cut out your gym membership if you rarely use it! Why spend money on things if you aren't actually using them? It's just silly!
Check your points or you frequent flyer miles balance on your credit card and cash those babies in. Make sure to get the most bang for your buck, though. For example, some rewards are worth more when used toward travel reservations through the credit card than a statement credit. Other cards may offer gift cards at a higher value. Check your credit card’s rewards website for the details.
Get rid of daily emails urging you to click and buy right now. Swear this sounds like the easiest thing to, but it can be hard to say good bye to your favorite store. Your bank account will thank you later though, so just close your eyes and press that unsubscribe button.
Just as you set up calendar reminders for your social life, try doing the same for your financial life. Make sure you have key dates noted, from bill payment reminders to credit score checks to having a money talk with your partner. If you already have a money calendar in place, take the time to check in and confirm that everything is accounted for.
The bank account you set up in high school, the 401(k) from your first job out of college, the investment account your parents set up for you with MCD and DIS so you could learn the rules of investing, that other 401(k) from your second job with the terrible boss—sound familiar? If you’re like most people, you likely have multiple accounts set up all over the place, which means multiple statements and multiple sets of fees.
Make life easier for yourself and consolidate these accounts in one place: Roll any old 401(k)s into one IRA and combine your checking accounts together. Not only will this make things easier on you (less statements in the mail each month, only one company to call when you need a statement or have a question), but it may even lower your annual fees.
Keep your tax records for the past 7 years, a year’s worth of pay stubs and statements, and 45 days worth of credit card statements. Otherwise, get to shredding! Not only does it declutter you home, shredding can help protect you from identity theft.
After laying out all of your bills in front of you, are you seeing due dates that tend to strain your income on a consistent basis? simply call or email your creditor to request a new due date for later or earlier in the month.