Financial Friday: Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring means many things: warmer weather, new beginnings and spring cleaning. One area of your life that could use some spring cleaning? Your finances. With tax season fast approaching, this is a great time to check up on your budgets, spending and more.

Whether you’ve gotten off track with budgeting or are just ready for a refresh, there are ways to spring clean your financial goals.

Know where you are

Knowing what state your finances are in is the first step. You need to know where you are before you can go anywhere. Take a look at where you’re spending or where you aren’t saving, and use that as a starting point.

Revamp your budget

Now that you know how much you’re spending, rework your budget. (Don’t have one? We have some tips for starting one!) Are your expenses lining up or did you have an unplanned change in income? Is your current method or plan working? If not, now is the time to try a new one. Be sure to include raises or other income changes, expenses that may come up and any other factors that require money.

Prioritize savings

Forgive us if we sound like a broken record, but saving money is one of the main points of a budget! You should be checking how much you’re saving as well as how much you’re spending. Make sure you have a well-padded emergency fund, and try to plan ahead for things you know are coming up (trips, moves, birthdays or holidays.)

Toss out the old

Get out the shredder and throw away old documents and passwords. Be sure you’re only holding on to statements you need, and keep tax documents for seven years. Otherwise there’s no reason to keep any statements that are more than two years old. You should also reset any passwords for cyber-security reasons.

Don’t be afraid of change

Your life is constantly changing, so your financial goals should too. This is why you don’t need a rigid plan or to stick with one budgeting method, and to be flexible. Go with the flow and adjust your goals as your needs and life circumstances change.

We hope these goals help to clean up your budgeting and get you in financial shape for the rest of the year!