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How To Spring Clean Your Finances

You know that deep feeling of satisfaction you get when you clean your closet or finally sort through those moving boxes that you haven’t opened in five plus years? Well, you can get that same feeling of accomplishment when you spring clean your finances.

Here are some ways to get started:

Review your spending habits and set a budget

Tax season may have given you some insights into your finances—the good and perhaps the not so good. Now’s a good time to revisit them. Using an app, like Mint, can help you see where your money is going, set budgets and help you keep your spending on track.

Purge paper

Overwhelmed by junk mail? You can opt-out of receiving many offers from credit card companies by visiting the FTC site. If you are a paper pack rat, try to wean yourself off of the paper trail. Sign up for e-statements and e-receipts whenever possible. The IRS recommends keeping your financial records related to your tax returns for three years. After that, it’s safe to part ways.

Review your retirement accounts

Even if retirement seems like a distant dream—be sure to review your retirement accounts a couple of times a year, and more frequently if retirement is closer. The cost of waiting to save adds up. Not sure how much you should be saving? Use this calculator as a starting point. Consider working with a financial professional.

Have a life checkup

Have you recently changed jobs? Gotten married? Started a family? These are all exciting events, and good reasons to review your life insurance needs. This calculator can help you get started.

Set goals

Having short-term savings goals can help keep your savings muscles toned for those bigger long-term goals. Whether it’s a vacation, new vehicle, or a home—keep your eye on the prize. Having a visual reminder of your goal can also help you stay on track with your savings and avoid the urge to spend on things you shouldn’t. Start with a small goal, and then work your way up to bigger ones. Once you get going, you may be surprised at your momentum to keep saving.

Use the buddy system

Setting a goal is one thing, but sticking to it can be challenging. Make your goal public-share it with a family member or friend—that way they can help keep you accountable and perhaps help motivate you along the way.

 

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