It’s that time of year again. When our cars have this yellow film on them, it’s 75 degrees on Monday and 45 on Tuesday, and we all seem to sneeze a lot more than we did a few weeks ago. It’s Springtime and with the longer days come Easter eggs and blooming flowers. It’s also a time to think about spring cleaning.
If you’re like me, you spend quite a few hours changing out your closet. You put away the heavy coats and the wool sweaters and get ready for the warmer temperatures and spend your weekends planting flowers, cleaning out the garage and watching the Masters. Spring is also the perfect time to give your finances a thorough deep clean to get them in order. Here are five tips to help you “clean” up this season:
1. Review your Budget.
Take a close look at your budget to identify any areas that you might be able to cut back. Are there monthly subscriptions or memberships that you haven’t used this year? Are you spending more eating out or at Target than you thought you would in the first few months of 2023? Reviewing your budget can help you identify areas to save money and clean up your bank statement.
2. Check your Credit Report.
This isn’t a fun one to think about, but it can make a difference. Check your credit report for any errors or inaccuracies. If you find something that looks odd, contact the credit bureau to dispute it and get it corrected.
3. Consolidate your Debt.
Last year, this might not have been a concern for many, but this year credit card and home equity loan rates have skyrocketed. Check your rates on your balances and look to consolidate those debts or, even better, develop a plan to begin to pay those debts down.
4. Set Financial Goals.
This is usually reserved for early January, but since many of us have already given up on our New Year’s Resolutions, recommit to setting a financial goal for the rest of the year. Whether you want to save for a vacation, pay off debt, or start investing in your retirement account or a child’s college savings fund, measurable goals can help you stay on track and make progress towards your dreams.
5. Review your Retirement Plan.
Speaking of goals, if you have an IRA or a retirement plan where you work, you are saving for a day that you can retire and no longer need to work. However, many folks pay little attention to their retirement assets and how they are performing. Are you contributing enough to these accounts to reach your goals? Do you need to adjust your strategy or consider meeting with an advisor that can help you create a purpose-built financial plan to help you along the way?
So, as you take time to wash the pollen off of your car and put away those wool sweaters, don’t forget to give your finances a spring cleaning to help you save money and reduce stress this Spring.