Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Spring turns many people’s thoughts to cleaning. Besides the periodic tasks of sprucing up your yard, dusting off your windowsills, and switching out your seasonal wardrobe, it is also a good time to think about deep cleaning your finances.

We asked Workers Credit Union AVP and Financial Coach Glenn Davis for his thoughts on areas of your budget that could use some attention. As Glenn likes to say, spring is all about fresh starts and there is no better time to look at your money situation.

  • Organize Your Paperwork – Even with the increased use of technology, people often hang on to financial paperwork longer than they should out of fear of not being able to find a document they need. Crucial documents like social security cards; birth, death, and marriage certificates; a passport, and mortgage closing documents should be kept in a fireproof box or file cabinet. Opting in to electronic rather than paper statements is a great way to avoid paper clutter, while helping the environment.  Tax records should be stored for three years, depending on the situation. When disposing of financial papers, shred them to protect your identity. If while organizing you realize there are documents missing, don’t worry. Most documents can be reacquired if you toss them by accident, but there may be a small fee if you need to file a request for a copy of birth and death certificates.   
  • Eliminate Budget Drains – Look at your subscriptions and credit cards with tough love. Some people have several different music subscriptions that give them access to the same songs. Trimming TV streaming services and newspaper and magazine subscriptions down to just what you watch or read can be a painless way to put more money in your pocket. Also, beware of promotional credit cards. While saving on a big purchase at a store by opening a store credit card can feel like a win, many people forget they have these cards and wind up paying annual fees or a high-interest rate if they use them and forget to pay the bill.
  • Review Long-Term Plans – Spring is a great time to look at retirement accounts because the end of the quarter is when the first statement comes out. Are your accounts performing as well as they should? Ask questions of your financial advisor if you are not happy with the way things are going. Also, make sure you have your estate planning in order, including naming beneficiaries for all your accounts and making sure they know they are listed as such to avoid a probate headache down the road.
  • Reinforce Good Safety Habits – Check your credit score regularly to make sure it is on track. Also make a habit of reviewing your bank account online on a consistent basis to make sure the last transaction was one you did. Glenn warns that when hackers break into an account, they take a tiny amount to make sure it’s active.

Spring cleaning brings a sense of accomplishment and increased peace of mind. If you need help getting your financial house in order, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Workers Credit Union-certified financial coach like Glenn Davis. They have a wealth of knowledge that can streamline the process and leave you in a better place than when you started. 



Share This Blog Post