Spring is finally here! And you know what that means? It’s time for spring cleaning. As the weather starts to get a bit warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s the perfect time to clean out your home. From donating the unused items in your garage and chasing those dust bunnies away, to beautifying your home garden and scrubbing your fridge, spring cleaning can make you feel very productive.
So while you’re at it, why not take the time to spring clean your finances too? Here are 6 ideas to get you started:
1.) Review financial goals
Your family’s financial goals set the tone for your financial planning. Take some time to think about your past goals and whether or not they still match your family’s current situation. Consider setting a timeline you can work towards to ensure your family hits those financial milestones. Tracking how close you are to reaching your goals can be really motivational and gratifying!
2.) Evaluate spending
Your spending is an important component of financial planning. Compile past spending to create an overview of your family’s spending habits and start to find trends. By laying everything on the table, you can analyze where your money is really going. You don’t even need to do this on paper or with a spreadsheet anymore – there’s tons of great technology out there to help automate this for you. New technology can collect your financial data across different accounts and credit cards and present your family with a summary of your overall assets, liabilities, and transactions. Being able to pull up reports like these at the click of a mouse can help you set achievable spending goals.
3.) Clean up your accounts
Do you have difficulty keeping track of your family’s multiple bank accounts? It may be time to reassess the benefits of each account. By consolidating unused accounts, you can reduce the number of accounts you need to track regularly. But if you’re saving to meet multiple goals, it can help to have a different account for each goal. I also try to regularly research the different accounts out there to find the ones with the best interest rates and fees.
4.) Opt for less paper and sort out existing paperwork
Most financial institutions today have a paperless billing option. By choosing this option, you can cut back on the piles of paper taking over your kitchen counter, drawers or coffee table. As for the paper statements you already have, take the time as a family to file each document and shred the ones you no longer need. As an alternative to physical filing cabinets or folders that take up space in your home, using secure online storage platforms is another great way to store important documents. This can significantly declutter your space and some platforms even let you easily share your files and documents with members of your family and even financial professionals.
5.) Assess your debt
It’s important to review your family’s debt regularly. By openly talking about your debts, you may find opportunities to consolidate them under a lower interest rate or come up with a plan of attack to pay debt down. This is another time it can help to have your family’s financial statements readily available so that you can make the most informed decisions.
6.) Revisit your insurance
Insurance is really about managing risk. Having insurance policies that protect your family and your possessions is important so take the time to review your policies and clearly understand what they do and don’t cover. Make sure that the policies you chose years ago still cover your current needs. It’s also good to check in every now and then to ensure you’re not overpaying and are happy with the customer service your company provides if you ever had to make a claim.
I hope this list helps you get in better shape, financially, for the Summer. Don’t hesitate to tweet us at @Onistplatform if you have other tips that will help us all start getting our finances on track.
Happy spring cleaning!