Spring is nearly here, and now is the perfect time to declutter and simplify your home with a little spring cleaning. While you're getting your house back in order, why not clean up your financial house, too? Here are five ways to freshen your finances for spring.
Revamp your monthly budget
Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy financial lifestyle. Start your financial clean-up by reviewing your monthly budget and making adjustments as needed. Take note of any extra spending on non-essentials, such as restaurant meals, hobbies and entertainment. Are there any areas where you could cut back to save money? Update your budget accordingly.
Clear out the clutter
As you spring clean your home, take the time to organize any paperwork, statements, pay stubs, bills and other financial records. Establish a system that works for you, whether you use a filing cabinet or scan important documents to your computer. Just be sure to shred any unneeded documents that contain your personal information, such as your Social Security number.
While you're tidying up your paperwork, consider the benefits of using a paperless system. Switching to paperless financial statements and using online banking to pay bills is a great way to reduce your financial clutter and keep your home more organized. With online, paperless billing, you'll no longer worry about misplacing an important bill among junk mail again. Instead, you can access your statement anytime, anyplace. Along with reducing waste and helping the environment, going paperless can also prevent the risk of identity fraud resulting from mail theft.
Check your credit score and report
If it's been a while since you last checked your credit score, now might be a good time. If your score is lower than you thought it would be, focus on ways to raise it, such as making payments on time and paying down credit card debt. You should also check your credit reports once a year for any mistakes or discrepancies. View your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus every 12 months for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you notice any errors on your reports, notify the bureaus so they can correct them right away.
Revisit your financial goals
Spring is also an ideal time to revisit your financial goals or create new ones. If you wrote down some financial goals at the beginning of the year, take a moment to refer back to them. How are you doing so far? Are you taking the right steps to make your goals a reality? Do you need to adjust your plans or your priorities? Whether you're working toward paying down your debt or saving for retirement, revisiting and refining your goals on a consistent basis will ensure you stay on track.
Just as you spring clean your home, spring cleaning your personal finances can help you reorganize and refresh for the months ahead. What will you do to freshen up your finances this spring?
For more tips and tools from Wright-Patt Credit Union, stop by one of our convenient local Member Centers or check out our helpful online resources.