Springtime is finally here and it's time to clean house, but another thing you should probably tend to is your finances. Now that the holidays are over, it's time to clean up the financial mess left over from all those credit card purchases and situations that required the help of a cash advance. Here's 5 helpful tips to make spring cleaning your financial closet a breeze:
The first step to a good financial cleanup is to go over your budget. Break out recent credit card and bank statements and look for places where you may have gone overboard with your spending. Use this time as an opportunity to trim the fat, look for problem areas and get a better overall picture of your financial situation. If necessary, restructure your budget to keep better track of what you're spending in the coming year.
In order to reduce waste and excessive clutter, make this the year you go paperless. These days, you don't need paper checking account and credit card statements to keep track of your spending. You can easily view most of your statements from your phone, tablet or computer, so why bother with paper? Spare yourself the clutter and help save some trees in the process.
Always, always, always check your credit score. Thanks to sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, keeping tabs on your score has never been easier. You can instantly access your credit score wherever you want, whenever you want. It's free and doesn't count as an inquiry on your report. By knowing where you stand with your credit, you can stay motivated to pay your bills on time and reduce credit card use.
We can't talk about cleaning up finances without bringing up the subject of credit card debt. Since you're working on cleaning up your financial closet, coming up with a plan to pay down your credit cards should be at the top of your "to do" list. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your credit score is to pay off all your credit cards. To make it easier on yourself, start off with the card that has the lowest balance first, then move on from there.
Let's face it, you probably have plenty of things lying around your house that you simply don't use. While you're in the spring cleaning spirit, you might as well dig out all the stuff you are no longer in need of and sell it for a few extra bucks. If you can come up with a decent number of items, you may wind up with enough extra cash to kick your savings into high gear. Having a decluttered home and a new emergency fund is a great way to kick off the spring season.
So there you have it, 5 simple tips to help you clean out your financial closet. Go ahead and give your home and your finances a good scrubbing - you'll feel better knowing you've got things under control. There's no better feeling than having a clean house and an organized wallet, so what are you waiting for? Get started today!