We’ve kicked old man winter to the curb, and Spring is finally here. And that means it’s time to spring clean. If you think we mean spring clean your home, well, you will probably be doing that too, but we want you to spring clean is your finances.
So, let’s do a little Spring Cleaning of your finances. Here are some great tips to get you started.
Time to Spring Clean Your Finances
Take Care of Your Taxes
Springtime is a great time to tackle those taxes. In fact, tax day fits right into Spring, so making it part of your Spring financial cleaning is a perfect fit.
When it does come time to file those taxes, make sure that you take advantage of any deductions that may work in your favor. There are several tax credits that you should keep in mind while doing the paperwork. Every dollar you save here is a dollar that stays in your pocket.
Make sure that you count your income correctly. You need to account for all of your income, no matter you got it. You know those gift cards from that major electronics dealer you received as payment for those social shares? Yes, you need to count those too. The last thing you want is a dance with Uncle Sam – he always leads and has a habit of stepping on toes.
Do the math on any contributions you want to make and max them out as the budget allows. Doing this will take the money straight to a deserving cause and can help you in return.
Of course, doing your taxes should mean that you aren’t getting much of a refund if any at all. Keep your money in your pocket throughout the year.
Okay, once your taxes are done (or extension filed), you can mark that off your financial Spring cleaning list.
Spring Clean Your Debt
While you are scrubbing the walls of your financial house, take some time to spring clean your debt as well. If you have debt that keeps lingering around like a bad smell, put together a plan to get rid of it in the coming year. As it turns out, Springtime is the perfect time for a snowball – a debt snowball, that is.
Plan Any Major Expenses for the Upcoming Year
The next item on our Spring Cleaning checklist is to plan any major expenses for the rest of the year. By preparing for them now, you can start putting aside funds to pay for them when the time comes. Planning ahead helps to keep you out of the red for the year.
Don’t forget to plan any upcoming vacations as well, and add them to the saving list. There is no better feeling than taking a well-deserved vacation that is already paid for with your own money. You may find that moving a vacation to later in the year is one way to have more time to have the funds saved. This postponement might be especially true if Holiday gift buying tends to hit hard in the piggy bank.
Clean out the Credit Report Cobwebs
Since we are Spring cleaning everything in our financial house, let’s not forget about any cobwebs in the credit report. You’ll find many places that offer a free credit report, so go ahead and get one. Go through your list, and if anything looks suspicious, consider getting a credit freeze until things can be checked out.
If you are afraid of the spiders coming back anytime soon, you can also check into fraud alerts on your financial accounts. Fraud alerts will help to keep everything spic and span until next Spring when you will clean it again.
Once you get in the habit of Spring cleaning your finances, you’ll find that it’s easier to meet your financial goals in the coming year. Now that is one kind of Spring cleaning that we at Personal Money Sense can wholeheartedly recommend.
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