It may not feel like it yet, it may not look like it when you look out your window yet, but spring is just around the corner! Along with nicer temperatures, increased sunlight and happier people, spring cleaning joins the party. Spring cleaning allows you to have a fresh start, with order and cleanliness in your home. But what about applying the spring-cleaning concept to more than just your home? It is likely that your finances could be in some need of a good clean up. And because income tax filing is about the same time of year, why not capitalize on that? You are digging through your papers anyways, might as well do a financial clean up at the same time!
Here are some sure-fire ways to bring a little order into your finances:
Step 1: Gather
Gather all your information. This means digging out outstanding bills, paid bills, investments you may have, RSPs, loans, mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance payments, etc. Just anything you’ve had to pay, will need to pay, that you pay on an ongoing basis, as well as any investments or savings that you may have.
The important thing is that you gather everything in one spot. FYI, after this first spring clean up, the subsequent ones will get much easier to do!
Step 2: File
Now that you’ve gathered everything, set up a filing system. This can be a drawer in your office with folders and printed copies; it could be a folder on your desktop, or an app that will help you with that. The important thing is, that you have everything in one place, easily accessible and easy for you to read through.
Step 3: Check for accuracy
Make sure everything is accurate on your statements. Is everything being charged on your credit card bills accurate (fraudulent little surprises can sometimes arise when we aren’t looking). Is the interest rate being charged what you thought it was? Do you know the payment dates for every one of your bills?
Step 4: Clean your credit report
For a real in-depth spring cleaning, consult your credit report and correct any inaccuracies and close accounts you may not have known you still had.
This spring cleaning can be time consuming the first time, but oh so satisfying!
You can be proud of the work you’ve done that will make your life easier when it comes to your finances.