Spring Cleaning for Your Finances

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Get Your Finances in Order this Spring

Get Your Finances in Order this Spring

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and the air has lost much of its chill. That’s right, spring is here. And with it that, the most joyous of chores – spring cleaning! Okay, maybe it’s not really that joyous, but there’s something nice about purging yourself of unwanted clutter and making things all neat and tidy. In fact, we’re so excited about spring cleaning that we’re expanding it from the house to cover your finances as well. Because if there’s one area of our lives that should not be messy and cluttered, it’s our finances!

Organize

If you’re like me, you have an organized file system with everything neatly labeled… and a huge pile next to it of unorganized, unlabeled paperwork. Take this time to organize those documents into their proper places and toss out anything you no longer need. This goes for online information and accounts, too – check your credit score, make sure insurance policies are up-to-date and provide you with the coverage you need, and check your debt and interest rates on credit cards, bank accounts and home loans. Can you get a better deal somewhere else?

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

Examine your investments

Most investors used to be “buy and hold,” meaning you’d stick with a stock for many years, weathering bad times and enjoying good ones because – in general – the vast majority of stocks gained significantly over long periods of time. Some experts, however, don’t recommend that strategy anymore. With some few exceptions, they say that if you continue to see a loss of 8 to 10 percent, sell that stock. Obvious, right? But listen to this: they also say you should cash in on any stock that has gained 25 to 35 percent in value! Obviously, do your own homework, but the marketplace increasingly seems to be a fluctuating place where you need to keep a closer eye on the trends.

Plan ahead now

You probably just finished your income taxes, so this is a perfect time to look at what you made and spent the previous year, then plan a budget for the current one – especially if you’ve got any big purchases planned like a vacation, car, college tuition or a house. You can estimate now how much you’ll need to save each month to have the money to do those things. If you’re feeling really ambitious, find a retirement calculator and figure out how much you’ll need to retire. Start saving now!

Actually clean the house!

You’ll be surprised at the kinds of things you’ll come across that could actually impact your finances, such as old bills (whoops!), receipts for write-offs on your taxes (yay!), and even giftcards that got lost in the couch or under paperwork (double yay!). Who knows, you might save yourself enough for that vacation just by doing some actual cleaning!

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

For more tips and tools to help you spring-clean your finances, including a personalized Credit Action Plan that will show you how to achieve your true credit score potential, visit Quizzle.com.

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