With taxes out of the way, it’s time to prepare for some summer fun. But like your house, your finances will be much more manageable when you take the time to spruce things up this spring. Below are a few areas where you can get started.
Envision your perfect financial set up. Do you have one personal checking account and one with your spouse? A separate savings account for emergencies? Separating out accounts will help de-clutter your financial life. More often than not, your employer will even allow you to split direct deposits between accounts so you don’t have to worry about transferring money every paycheck.
Photo by OnTask via Flickr
DO: Take some time to list out all of the accounts you have, the accounts you would like to have, and clean them all up.
Unless you have your retirement accounts set to rebalance automatically, it’s easy to put off this task when you’re focused on that final push through school and taxes. It is important, however, to periodically check to see if your asset allocation reflects your investing style.
DO: If you have not rebalanced your portfolio in a while, this is the perfect time to make sure your investments are set for summer.
It’s far too easy to have stacks of paper envelopes pile up and lose their corresponding bills. This is the perfect time to go through these and try to make as many electronic as possible. You will cut back on clutter around your home — and financially. If you need an extra reminder of due dates, or don’t want to have the bill automatically paid, you can use a tool like Google Calendar to set up reminders of upcoming bills.
DO: Cut back on clutter through online bills, bill pay, and bill reminders.
It’s bad for your financial life (not to mention your back) to carry about piles of cards and receipts. Start spring off by dumping out your purse or wallet. First, throw away any trash. Second, file away any receipts you need to keep. Finally, go through and determine which cards you really need to be carrying around with you at all times. Is that rewards card for a store you visit one a year really necessary? What about your dental insurance card even though you won’t see the dentist again for six months? One great way to keep your wallet organized is to take photos of cards you seldom use.
DO: Throw away trash, file receipts, and carry only what you need with you.
Once the physical clutter of your finances is cleared up, it’s a great time to readjust your spending goals for summer. Having an organized financial life should help you — reorganize your budget and determine what parts of your budget will change and what will stay the same for the next few months.
DO: Give your financial life and budget a good spring cleaning so you can enjoy your summer!