Spring Cleaning for Your Finances
Spring cleaning is a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. Cleaning out your closets and deep-cleaning your home each April can be a satisfying endeavor, especially if you’ve been putting it off all winter. There are many benefits to spring cleaning your home, but the same idea can be applied to your finances.
Following are five ways you can apply spring cleaning to your finances.
1. Tidy up your budget. Set aside some time to examine your budget and decide what needs to be altered before the year gets too far underway. Take a hard look at all debts and expenses, as well as amounts you want to spend for food, entertainment and savings.
2. Scrub off at least one debt. Decide on at least one debt that you will pay off by the end of the year, and make a plan to achieve it. If you do not have a debt that you can realistically pay off by the end of the year, make a plan to reduce at least one debt by paying more than the minimum monthly amount. That will allow you to pay it off more quickly.
3. Toss out one expense. Review your budget again and decide what you can do without. Choose at least one expense that you can reduce or cut out. Example: If you make daily trips to your local coffee shop, cut out one day per week. Every little bit helps, and this expense can add up throughout the year.
4. Polish your saving habits. If your paycheck is deposited directly into your bank account, talk to your employer’s human resources department about having a set amount deposited directly into a savings or retirement account, or talk with Boone Bank & Trust Co. about setting up an auto transfer between your payroll account and your savings.
5. Inspect your credit with white gloves. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to order a free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies. Review your reports to ensure that there are no mistakes in your credit history and to protect yourself from identity theft. Tip: Don’t request your report from all three credit reporting agencies at the same time. Spread out your requests periodically throughout the year.