As you begin your spring cleaning rituals, remember that you need to think beyond your closets and garage. Your financial situation needs a seasonal scrubbing too. Take some time to get your money and budget organized. Here’s how:
Develop a filing system. Whether it is a digital system, print, or both, you need to have an organized way of keeping your financial documentation managed. Have folders for taxes, insurance policies, bank statements and receipts. Keep these folders neatly labeled, updated and in an easily accessible location. This is key to making sure your budget is on track, and all of your money is where its supposed to be.
Discard what you do not need. Financial records that are more than five years old, receipts from your summer vacation 10 years ago and pay stubs from the money you received at your last job do not need to take up space in your desk drawers and files. Purge the clutter and do not allow piles to gather on your desk or counter.
Go mobile. Many banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions have mobile apps you can download on your smart phone to make your budget and money situation seem little easier. Take advantage of these tools if you are attached to your mobile phone. They will keep your money organized and at your fingertips.
Update your policies. Now is an excellent time to make sure you have enough insurance coverage. Assess your life insurance, disability insurance and health coverage. Review your retirement contributions as well, and where that money fits into your budget. Make sure your money is working hard for you in your financial situation.
Cut down your debt. Take a look at your recent credit card statements and loan balances. See if there is room in your budget to pay a little more than the minimum payments. Becoming free of debt should be a major financial goal, and as you are doing your spring cleaning, consider cutting down on credit cards. You want the money in your savings balance to be higher than your credit card balance.