Here in Minnesota we are used to pretty rough winters, so you can imagine how ecstatic we all are to now being able to see grass and feel the sun on our face without the bitterly cold wind slapping us at the same time. Morning glory and hallelujah it’s springtime!
Everyone knows the term “spring cleaning” and that it refers to thoroughly cleaning our homes now that we can open the doors and windows and shove out all that dust, dirt, and stale air. But why stop at just the house? Our finances are probably in need of a spring cleaning as well.
5 steps you should take to clean up your finances:
1. The Tax Clean-Up
I am assuming many of you have already submitted your taxes and maybe were even fortunate enough to be able to get a refund. Do you feel that you got what you were expecting? Or maybe you had to pay in. Now is the time to double-check your withholding allowance on your paychecks. Did your marital status change in the past year at all or dependents to claim? Make sure you are claiming the right amount for your lifestyle. Update your W-4 form for your employer if necessary to ensure your tax filings next year are correct. Take a look at the IRS Tax-Withholding webpage if you are unsure what you should be claiming.
2. The Auto-Pay Clean-Up
Are you still getting paper bills in the mail and sending out checks to pay for them? Why? Maybe now is the time to get all your payments on auto-pay so you never have to worry about forgetting to pay a bill or a check getting lost in the mail. If you do automate all your bill pay, check your bank statements regularly to ensure the right amount is being taken out.
3. The All-the-Extras Clean-Up
The sun is shining and the birds are chirping – are you really inside enough to justify that $100 cable bill? Maybe you want to consider dropping cable altogether. I offer up some cable-cutting tips in a previous blog if this is the route you want to go. Now is the time to go through all the extra indulgences and determine if they really are a value to you. Is that gym membership going to get any use when you can now go run through the iceless neighborhood? Go through all your typical monthly expenses and eliminate what you don’t need to be wasting money on.
4. The Banking Clean-Up
What has your bank done for you lately? What is your interest rate? You didn’t get hit with any unnecessary fees last year did you? Take a look at all your credit card, checking, savings, and investment accounts. It’s time-consuming, but switch banks if your current one is not matching your needs. Maybe a credit union is a better option for you? Take a look at this informative article from MoneyCrashers.com that compares banks and credit unions. Also, move your banking life online to reduce risk of identity theft and save a tree. Do you really need to be mailed a paper statement every month? However, if you do prefer it, be sure to destroy the documents when you’re through with them versus just throwing them in the trash. Better safe than sorry!
5. The Life Goals Clean-Up
Are you still on track with your New Year’s Resolution? Yeah, me either… but I recently went through my bank statements and consolidated a couple accounts and paid off my car loan. Small victories! Since I no longer have a monthly payment dedicated to my car, I put that amount into my savings account each month instead. I also am working on determining the right long-term investment for me. This is my Spring goal. What is your goal? Maybe you have been tossing around the idea of getting life insurance. What better life goal is there than to protect your family? Take a minute and use the quoting tool on Quotacy’s website to see how little it may cost you to get term life insurance. Keep your phone number and e-mail address to yourself – we don’t need it to show you a quote!
Here at Quotacy we know how much you want to protect your loved ones, but we also know how busy you are and that you want ensure your personal life stays private. We will never sell your information and if you want to run a term life insurance quote, you will not get bombarded with calls and e-mails from strangers trying to sell to you. That’s a promise! Thanks for stopping by, now go enjoy that spring air!