A good spring cleaning is an excellent opportunity to leave the clutter and dirt of the previous year behind you, but have you considered the importance of cleaning up your finances while you’re at it? For many of us, there is still holiday debt lingering on our credit cards balances, and what better time than now to address it once and for all? Spring is all about new beginnings and fresh starts, so get ready to clean out your financial junk drawer with these smart and simple tips.
With winter over, it is probably high time to review your budget and see if you are still on track. Part of a proper financial overhaul is crunching the numbers and making the necessary adjustments. If you’ve fallen behind in certain areas of your budget, a cash advance could help you get back on track before things get out of hand. While it may be tempting to ignore your debts and hope they’ll go away on their own, balancing your spring budget is the first step to making the most of your income.
We all hold onto things we don’t exactly need, and learning to let go of those items could be a huge part of your spring cleaning ritual this year. Have a thorough look through your closets, attic, basement and garage and take an inventory of what extra unused “stuff”you have gathering dust around your house. Clearing out all this unwanted clutter will not only free up a lot of space in your home, but it may also mark the beginning of a new profitable spring tradition.
For a spring cleaning win-win, hold a yard sale to turn your junk into cold hard cash. You will be surprised how much money people are willing to pay for something you would have otherwise thrown away. You can even use your smartphone or computer to put TVs, cars, pool tables, and other large or bulky items up for sale at the push of a button. Check out apps like LetGo and OfferUp, and see what people near you are willing to pay for your hidden treasures.
While you’re spring cleaning, it is highly advisable to review your financial clutter while you are at it. Set aside some time to review your paper statements and bills. Keeping your financial records isn’t going to do you any good if they aren’t organized, and chances are you’re holding onto way more paperwork than you need to be.
Shredding your old statements and financial paperwork and beginning the transition to a paperless system is a smart and easy way to prevent these financial messes happening again in the future. Short of starting your own garden, going paperless is the best way to start going green this spring. The sigh of relief when it’s all over and done with will be worth the effort, and a little organizing goes a long way toward making your finances spring fresh.
Knowing your credit score and the factors that affect it is like having your finger on the pulse of your financial health. Your credit score says a lot about your financial habits, and it directly determines how much you pay in interest for things like car loans and mortgages. Your score also affects your ability to rent property, qualify for credit cards or even connect utility service. Keeping an eye on your credit health is also part of staying on track toward reaching your money goals, so plant the seeds to your financial success by spring cleaning your credit score.
If your score is low, do some investigating to find out what the causes are. A mistake or small outstanding debt you aren’t aware of could be lowering your score. If you’re utilizing more than 30% of your available credit, work towards paying down your balances. You also want to make sure you have reminders in place to keep track of your billing due dates, because a single reported late payment can affect your credit score for 3 years or more.
If the holidays are far behind you, but the clutter of lingering debt is still hanging around, spring cleaning is a perfect time to kick your payments into high gear. Start by paying down your smallest credit card balance first and work up from there. To speed up the process, apply all the money you were paying on a zero balance account to the next highest amount. Doing that will help you gain the momentum you need to get debt-free this spring. There are lots of ways to get your finances and your home clean and organized this spring – so why wait? Give yourself a fresh start this Spring and use these 5 tips to organize your banking junk drawer!