Spruce Up Your Financial Life with Some Spring Cleaning
By Armand Muniz
Every year, when we collectively awaken from winter slumber, surprises are found. These surprises aren’t always the fun, exciting kind. A Christmas gift that we forgot to wrap and send. That missing glove behind the sofa now covered in dust. It prompts us to reorganize our lives. Human beings generally like to keep things grouped and organized. It gives us a sense of calm. That stress can invade our financial lives too. We at Crosspoint Federal Credit Union have also felt that pain. To help, we’ve come up with a few tips to get your finances on track and keep them there.
It is important to evaluate your debt and make sure that you are on track to keep it manageable. Rising inflation has helped contribute to spending more on almost everything, especially if using credit cards. People who have traditionally been balance eliminators became balance carriers. It is important to keep track of your overall debt and the rates being charged for using credit. See if there are opportunities to consolidate or eliminate some of your debt. Use your credit report as a guide for what you have outstanding and check for errors in what has been reported.
A great way to help declutter is to eliminate paper waste. How many times have you opened a drawer and found old statements from six years ago unopened? While it is good to keep old records of your accounts (particularly the taxable, reportable accounts) you don’t necessarily need all that paper. Most financial institutions have electronic records that go back at least an audit cycle (7 years) if not longer. These documents are normally easily accessible and complimentary. Another consideration is auto-pay. When your bills are automatically paid and electronically delivered, you can use your online banking portal or mobile app to verify everything is correct. Keep a schedule, check to make sure the bill was paid, and enjoy the extra time you’ve saved.
Eliminating redundant services helps declutter. Start with Unused gym memberships, music, and streaming accounts. If they’re unused, dump them! Freeing up money anywhere you can these days helps. Factor this money into your budget when you reevaluate and see if it can be reallocated elsewhere.
Enjoy the spring, spend time outside, and get organized! Keep an eye on your financial lives!
Happy Spring Cleaning!