Let’s Spring Clean Your Finances
March 20, 2019 |
Let’s Spring Clean Your Finances
Though some parts of the country are still buried in snow, and it doesn’t quite feel like spring, it is that time of year again—time to start your annual spring cleaning.
And while you’re busy cleaning out your closet and finally getting rid of your stuff from high school that really doesn’t fit anymore, make sure you take some time to spring clean your finances as well. This will help you get ready for a financially awesome 2019.
Are you ready to get started? Let’s spring clean your finances!
Start by requesting a free credit report.
Every 12 months, you can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three big consumer reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. When you have your credit report, take a close look for any anomalies or errors. If there are errors, it could be a sign of stolen identity or credit fraud.
If you’re thinking about making a large purchase this year, knowing your credit report inside and out could really help. A good credit rating will help you get a better interest rate on a mortgage or car loan. Since you can get a copy of your credit report for free once a year, making it a part of your annual spring cleaning could help ensure your credit stays amazing—or help you consistently approve your score.
Pay down your debt.
There’s nothing worse than carrying around a large debt. And while things like your mortgage are considered good debt, things like credit card debt and student loan debt can really drag you down. Since we’re cleaning up everything else, why not clean out that debt too.
Now, we realize that not everyone is in a position to pay off their debt in one big swoop, but there are ways that everyone can reduce their debt. Look at the debt with the highest interest rates (it’s usually your credit card). Focus on paying that card off first. Don’t just pay the monthly minimum—pay off as much as you can afford to pay each month. You should also contact your lenders to see if there are any alternative payment options available to you. Changing your due date to closer to your pay day could help. Or extending your repayment might help make things better.
Commit to a budget.
We know, we know. We harp on this one a lot. But it really is important. This is the ultimate way to clean up your finances. Get your bank statements and make an honest list of all your expenses each month. How much do you spend on your necessarily bills? And how much do you spend on everything else?
Breaking your finances down will give you a clear view of what you need to spend your money on, and how much you can save. Having a solid savings account is not only important, but it could help protect you in the future. And finding ways to cut down your spending will help increase your savings. (Looking for new ways to protect your savings? Dime can help!) If you ever find yourself wondering where your money goes each month, and you want to do more with your money, this is the way to do it.
While there are tons of ways to help you clean up your savings this year, these three tips will help get you on the right track. If you’re looking for other financial spring cleaning tips, check out these other articles: Virtual Cleaning Tips for Businesses and Financial Spring Cleaning.