After a brutal winter, many of us are ready to embrace spring with open arms! The arrival of spring also signals seasonal cleaning duties such as cleaning windows, putting away the winter wardrobe and breaking out the flip flops.
But don’t forget to include your personal finances in your spring cleaning “to do” list! Spring is the perfect time to tackle financial clutter–from refreshing budgets to going paperless to cleaning up your credit score.
Here are 5 tips that make it easy to do a financial clean sweep this spring:
1. Refresh your budget
Kick off your financial spring cleaning by refreshing your budget. Revisit the financial goals you set January 1. How are you doing so far? If you’re over budget, look at where you can make changes and cut back on spending. Remember to adjust your budget to satisfy current needs as well as long-term savings goals.
2. Reduce financial clutter – go paperless
You know that amazing feeling when you get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in years? Getting rid of that filing cabinet filled with old bills and credit card statements can feel just as freeing. A good way to cut down on clutter is to opt for electronic bill payments using a free bill-paying app like Mint Bills – which allows you to pay all your bills and schedule bill payments via an easy to use web and mobile platform.
3. Check your credit score
If you haven’t checked your credit score, now might be a great time. This number is a critical part of a consumer’s financial portfolio. Understand your score and the factors impacting it so you can learn how to improve it. If your credit score is low, commit to making your payments on time and focus on chipping away at large balances on your credit cards.
4. Pay off holiday debt once and for all
Cleaning up this debt quickly can put you in a much better financial position for the rest of the year. Start by clearing up your credit lines and pay off the purchases you made over the holiday season. If you have to, put yourself on a stricter debt payoff plan specifically focused on paying off the debt you accumulated over the holidays.
5. Sell unwanted items
Instead of throwing away your belongings to reduce clutter, consider selling your stuff to help boost your savings goals or earn extra money. Getting rid of old furniture? Try Craigslist. Cleaning out your closet? Try selling your clothing and accessories on Threadflip, a site that helps list, price, and ship the items for you.