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Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring cleaning is all about doing away with the dust and grime that settled over winter to make room for a cleaner, fresher, and happier environment. That doesn't have to be limited to your physical space. While you’re freshening up your home, consider ways to also tidy up your finances. You may be surprised at what’s hiding in your accounts, inboxes, financial documents, and tax returns. Here are some ways to spring clean your finances.

Clean Up Your Paperwork

If you’re still getting paper statements, why not change your preferences to “paperless”.

  • Including credit cards, loans, brokerage accounts, even bills.
  • Reduces the amount of physical clutter in your home, and it’s more ecofriendly.
  • Easily track your finances with your statements all in one place.
  • Scan your current documents that you need to save and back them up through an automated cloud backup service and/or an external hard drive.
  • Shred all financial or personal documents when you discard them to avoid identity theft.
    • This can be done at Credit Union of Denver’s upcoming Shred Event on April 22nd.

Check Progress on Financial Goals for the Year

Your financial spring cleaning offers a perfect opportunity to evaluate your progress and adjust your course as needed. You can tweak your spending, savings, and investments to put yourself on track for hitting your short-term targets for the end of this year.

If you haven't set any goals yet, try coming up with personal financial goals, such as:

  • Pay off your high-interest debt
  • Learn to stick with a budget
  • Save for a down payment on a house
  • Save for retirement

Refresh Your Budget Man on computer looking at charts on papers

Reframe how you look at budgeting; don’t think of it as sacrificing, but rather prioritization based on what’s important to you.

  • Review your budget, note whether you're spending within your limits or overspending in specific categories.
  • Look for areas you might be able to cut back. – Impulse buying, lower insurance rates, cancel unused subscriptions.

 To learn more about budgeting check out our blog How to Make Budgeting Simple.

Deep clean your accounts

This spring, get rid of any accounts you no longer need. If you’ve switched from one financial institution to another, you may have dormant accounts that are still open and could be charging you fees or holding onto money you’ve forgotten you have. Also, don’t forget about the 401(k) you may have from an old job, now may be the time to transfer those funds to your current 401(k). This approach will make it easier to manage your accounts and give your savings a greater chance at growth.

Declutter Your Debt

If you're carrying a balance on your credit cards or are making payments on an installment loan, take this time to get a clear picture of what you owe.

  • Start by listing out your debts.
    • Including the balance, due date, and interest rate for each.
  • Come up with a plan for how you'll pay it all off.

If you're shouldering substantial debt, consider debt repayment strategies such as the debt snowball or debt avalanche method, which give you a methodical way to attack your debt.

Plan Your Retirement Contributions elderly people walking to a money tree

Whether you want to max out your IRA or 401(k) or just take advantage of matching contributions, now is a good time to plan out how you’ll achieve your target retirement savings. These contributions don’t just happen, you need to budget for them carefully. However much you want to contribute, make it the first expense to come out of each paycheck so you’ll never forget to contribute.

Adjust Your Tax Withholding If Needed

Tax season is prime time for revisiting the withholdings on your W-4. If you got a tax refund last year or owed the IRS money, your tax withholding likely needs tweaking. Aim for a $0 tax bill come April 15 and adjust your income tax withholding with your employer as necessary. A consultation with a tax professional could be helpful.

Review Your Credit Report for Errors

The credit bureaus make mistakes, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one in five Americans has an error on their credit report. Your financial spring cleaning makes a great time to pick through your report and look for errors. If you find any, you can follow the simple process of disputing credit report errors, it’s free and requires little effort on your part. Credit Score & More  in our online and mobile banking, will provide a look at your credit bureau without affecting your credit score!

A clean home and clean finances don’t happen by mistake. They only happen when you go out of your way to make them happen. Set aside some time this spring to review your finances and tweak them where necessary. Follow our tips to make your finances sparkle!  


Sources and enhanced by Credit Union of Denver

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