5 Simple Actions to Spring Clean Your Financial Life This Season

It’s that time of the year and we’ve got five simple actions you can take to spring clean your financial life!

Spring Clean Your Desk: Ditch Old Papers

The first step to spring cleaning your financial life? Wave bye-bye to old, unnecessary papers! Unsure about what to toss? A few rules:

  • ATM slips and old bank statements (without tax-related expenses) can be recycled ASAP
  • Keep any documents relating to taxes for seven years
  • Keep super-important documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates forever
  • For more information about papers to keep and to toss, see this post.

Spring Clean Your Mailbox: Go Electronic

Your next spring cleaning action item: reduce the amount of paper coming into your mailbox! First, log into any accounts where you receive paper statements. Next, select the option to go paperless.

Going paperless will benefit your life in several ways. To begin with, paperless billing is environmentally friendly. Additionally, going paperless will solve your overloaded mailbox problem – forever! Paperless billing ensures new bills, statements, and promotional offers won’t enter your mailbox in the first place. The result? Less paper, and less mess in your life.

Spring Clean Your Banking: Assess Your Current Bank

Are you happy with your bank? Or are you thinking about switching to another institution? Ask yourself these questions to help you decide:

  • Do you have to pay fees to use the ATM?
  • Are there monthly “maintenance” fees?
  • How’s the customer service at the branch? On the phone?
  • Is your bank easy to access?
  • Does your bank offer mobile deposits?
  • How much do checks cost?
  • Is the online banking easy to use and understand?

Spring Clean Your Spending: Take Stock

The warmer weather and sunshine spring encourage us to lighten up in several ways: food, clothing, and yup, spending! Spring cleaning your spending requires two steps. 

To start, first take stock of your current habits. Track your spending expenses for a few weeks manually. Or, review your old transactions online.

Next, see if you can trim any expenses, like:

  • Impulse purchases, like a daily afternoon coffee
  • Subscription services
  • Reductions to a current expenses. For example, instead of driving to work every day, could you carpool or take public transportation a few times a week?

Spring Clean Your Habits: Start Something New

Today is the perfect day to launch a new, financially healthy habit. To start, decide on a goal you’d like to achieve. Do you want to earn more income? Spend less? Pay off your debt faster?  Once you have your goal, choose one small, daily action to accomplish that goal. For example, you could:

  • Transfer $1 to your savings account every day
  • Read a personal finance book
  • Sign up for a dog-sitting service to make extra cash
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