5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Finances

With tax season behind us (you did file right) and spring in the air (sort of), it’s a good time to think about spring cleaning.  I don’t have tips on getting your floors looking spotless, but I do have 5 simple spring cleaning tips for your finances…

Consolidate Accounts

This was always a nightmare for me as an advisor.  I’d see people with multiple savings, checking, 401(k), IRA, and brokerage accounts.  Why? Why deal with several banks just because one bank has 0.0001% more interest than the other.  Is it worth it? No.  So consolidate your bank accounts into one bank.  Have multiple 401(k) accounts from previous jobs?  Time to start doing rollovers.  It’s easy…I tell you how right here.  Same for IRA’s, consolidate.  Pick the place that treats you the best and they should earn your business.  Side benefit of working with 1 or 2 places, you can actually get paid to move your assets.  In 2016 when I initially retired I got about $1000 in cash and prizes (and free trades) to move my 401(k) to my IRA, something I was going to do anyway.  I continue to get free perks as well.  It’s kinda like…

Also, if something where to happen to me (i.e. I die) it’s easier for my executor of my estate to settle everything.

Scan and Shred

So going back to tax season being over… you know all of those documents you have? Scan all of them and shred them.  2 reasons.  1. Lots of sensitive info laying around in your house. B. Keeping multiple years of tax info takes up space.  This is spring cleaning anyways.  Might as well reduce the clutter in your home.  Starting out will take a little time, but once you have all of those prior years scanned, you can stay on top of it each year.  Just be sure to password protect the file and keep a back up of your taxes on a DVD or back up hard drive.

While you’re at it, if you have old statements for anything laying around, question whether you really need it. No…shred it!

Check your Credit Report For Free

You don’t have to pay to check your credit history.  You just have to know where to go.  There are a bunch of sites that will ask you to enter a credit card number and all the fine print you won’t read, says you’re signing up for a monthly service after the initial free trial period.  The correct site to go to is right here.  You get access to your credit report from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax for free once every twelve months.  What I like to do is check one of them every 4 months, and you are basically able to monitor throughout the year if anything looks suspicious.

With all the identity theft and companies getting hacked, it’s real important to proactively monitor your credit.

Eliminate Junk Mail

Tired of getting junk credit card offers in the mail.  Me too.  Years ago, I opted out of receiving the offers and it seriously cut down on my junk mail (I only get those weekly sales ads nowadays).  Not only is it annoying getting those credit card offers in the mail, but it’s also a security risk for you.  To stop getting the unwanted junk credit card offers, go here.  For myself and family, I have opted for the permanent opt out by mail, and can’t recall the last junk offer I’ve received in the mail.  It’s been years.

While you’re at it, if you don’t need to apply for financing, you may look at slowly closing out some credit cards, if you have too many.

You should also register on the do not call list, to reduce telemarketing calls during dinner.

Track Your Net Worth

You are probably already doing this, right?  Hopefully, if you’ve been reading my site for a while, this is something you’ve started.  If not, I have some nifty templates for tracking you’re net worth, spending and other things right here.  You don’t have to go crazy with it, just whatever works for you, so you know which direction you are heading, whether you want to take a shot at early retirement or just hitting financial independence.  I don’t know of anyone who has hit FIRE, who hasn’t tracked their net worth (or spending).  So start today!

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Having to deal with my dad’s estate and shred his 40+ years of pay stubs got my butt in gear. I went through my paperwork and shredded anything not from the past 7 years. And I sold my “learning tool” dividend stock so that I can have cleaner records going forward.

    • I’m dreading the time when I will have to do that with my parents. They have so much stuff. I’ve at least gotten then to go digital with their old tax returns, but encouraging them to get rid of other “stuff” has been a challenge.

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