Time To Spring Clean Your Finances

null-5Every time the weather starts to get better or the sun shines a little more, we all start spring cleaning projects around the house. That might start with planting or just cleaning out the garage.

Why are our finances any different?

The short answer is that they are not. Since spring is right around the corner I wanted to give everyone a few ideas for cleaning up your finances. All of these suggesting will take you a grand total of about an hour. Less time than you spent filling in your March Madness bracket!

Here are six financial spring cleaning moves you can make that will take an hour or less:

1. Visit a financial advisor. Most advisors will allow you a free one hour consultation. Take the time now if you have been meaning to do so. This will give you a good check up on how you are progressing toward your goals. You can also get insights on how to handle savings and your budget.

2. Review your spending and budget. Are you spending too much? Is there more month than money? If so, you may need to start taking a look at tweaking your spending or just going on a spending diet. Set goals regarding your spending and savings. Use free software that can help with this, and it probably will take less time than mowing your yard!

3. Create a debt pay-off pan. Credit cards…the bane of humanity. I really hate financial slavery and that’s exactly what these things cause. Take the time this spring to develop a pay-off plan for these financial shackles. If you have a large savings paying practically nothing, then pay these cards off. At the very least, move the balances to lower interest rate cards. One you get these paid off, you’ll have more discretionary money to save. This will take less time than washing windows this spring.

4. Check your credit history. There are various sources to check the major credit rating agencies all over the internet. You can order a free credit report from www. annualcreditreport.com. Make sure you actually have the accounts they are reporting and that the balances are accurate. Check for errors too. This will take less time than planting a few flowers in your yard.

5. Go Paperless. I decided a few years ago to take my practice and personal life paperless. It’s great. Instead of looking through tons of paper and files, I just have to know how to search on the internet or my phone! Organize all that paper so that it makes it much easier to create that budget, create the credit card pay-off plan, and dare I say, file your taxes. I’ve used several things, like Evernote and Shoeboxed.com. Other great tools are Google Drive, Box.net and Dropbox. I also have a tool that my clients use that I discussed a few weeks ago, my Wealth Management Site. 

6. Change your financial passwords. Online security will become a bigger issue as we continue to store more and more of our financial lives in the cloud. You must make sure you are using a complex password. If you are using the same password for all sites, and a hacker discovers it, you might as well leave the front door unlocked and your wallet on the counter. They’ll have access to everything. It will take less time to change all your passwords than to trim your yard. Don’t wait on this one, it could protect you from identity theft.

Do you think about your finances when Spring arrives? All of these tips will take less than an hour. Probably a lot less than the list of stuff your spouse gave you to work on this spring. If you need help with your financial spring cleaning, email me at david@lexwealth.com, or call me at (859) 225-2596.