Financial Spring Cleaning
January 30, 2018 |
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Spring has always been a time for change and renewal. And while you’re busy clearing out your home from the winter, make sure you dust off your finances too. Set yourself up for success for the rest of the year by doing a little financial spring cleaning with these easy trick.
Pay Off Any Lingering Holiday Debt
The holidays are a fun time of year, and it’s easy to go overboard with decorations and gifts. If you still have some gifts sitting on your credit card, or leftover debt from your holiday meal, take a look at your finances and see how you can best pay it off. The longer those purchases sit on your credit card, the more interest they incur, and the more you end up paying for them. Even if it’s only an extra $20 with your next payment, you’ll be glad you did it.
Get Your Taxes in Order
Taxes aren’t everyone’s favorite part of spring, but if you haven’t done yours yet, you should get started now. Make your taxes less daunting with these 3 easy steps:
- Set aside 1 hour — really, just an hour — to take paperwork inventory. Whether you only do it once, or schedule it once a week, taking time to go through your mail, receipts, and paperwork and sorting everything will help you when you’re ready to file.
- Take another half hour to locate, download, or print all your tax forms. From W2s to 1098s, get everything ready to go. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of more paper to sort, create a file on your desktop specifically for your tax paperwork and store everything there.
- Now that your tax forms are ready, and your paperwork is sorted, take another hour and pull together your tax-deductible receipts and related paperwork. Get those charitable giving records, donation receipts, and receipts from deductible purchases and put them in one place.
Now you just need to file.
Plan for Big Purchases
Thinking about taking a trip this summer? Worried you might need to replace your ancient fridge? How’s your car doing? Is it finally time to buy that new TV you’ve had your eye on? Whether you have a list of things you want to do, or things you need to do, or want to be prepared for the things you don’t know you’ll have to do in the future, financial spring cleaning can help you prepare for everything:
- For planned purchases, make a realistic goal. Can you afford both a new car and the bathroom remodel? Evaluate your disposable income, savings, debt, and come up with a priority list of purchases, focusing on one or two that make sense to invest in during the year. Consider if financing those purchases makes sense for you.
- Create a savings account specifically for your big purchases, and see if your bank has any online savings tools to help you meet your goal. You can also use this account as a rainy day fund to help cover expenses you know may come up soon, and for those you can’t plan for.
Now that you’ve cleaned up your finances, you’re on the right track for a great financial year. At Dime, we’re here to help you with all of your financial goals. Speak with a Dime representative today at 1-800-321-DIME (3463) or stop by your local branch for more information.