After cleaning the garage, packing away your winter clothes and cleaning the windows, turn your spring cleaning efforts to your finances. Here are ten ideas to freshen up your financial situation:
1. Reduce paper: Most banks, brokerages, credit cards, and utilities offer online delivery and storage of statements and bills. Sit down with your paper statements and see how many you can move to online. You will save the time spent opening mail, remove clutter and help the environment.
2. Pay your bills online: Sign up for an online bill payment service if you don’t already. Set up automatic payments for recurring bills.
3. Purge: Get a good shredder and use it aggressively. You really don’t need the water bill from two years ago. Purge! This can also help reduce your risk of identity theft.
4. Eliminate redundancies: Eliminating clutter is not only about getting rid of paper; Identify what accounts are redundant and can be combined and/or closed.
5. Organize: Get a label maker and create a small, efficient filing system.
6. Reduce costs: Review bills you get from cable and phone companies, because when contracts expire they may revert to higher charges. Give them a call and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to have your rates reduced.
7. Check your coverage: Review your insurance coverage to make sure that it is appropriate for you.
8. Compare interest rates: Make sure your banks and credit cards are competitive for their fees and interest rates.
9. Track your goals: Create easy-to-use systems for tracking your big picture goals, including a simple budget, college savings, and retirement.
10. Think about getting help: Identify what areas you may need professional help, and create a plan to interview candidates.