Why is the term “Spring Cleaning” so popular? What makes Spring particularly beneficial for cleaning?
Some might say the rain and snow season is over, so time to clean those gutters, wash those windows, and filter out your closet for winter clothes you just won’t wear anymore.
Or you might take the sunnier days to spruce up your garden, organize your pantry, and finally move the couches outside so you can clean under them without fear of a dark cloud soaking them before you’re done.
If you think about it, Spring is also a pretty ideal time to clean your finances as well. You’re likely done filing your taxes, or close to it, and also probably still have your year-end statements and documents on file.
And if you still receive paper statements from the bank or your insurance company, it’s time to enroll in e-delivery! Not only is it better for the environment, but that’s less clutter you have to deal with, and it’s easier to organize your files online. Plus, some companies have gone so far as to charge a monthly fee if you stay on paper documents.
The reason you want to spring clean your finances is, well, because money touches everything. If you’re not organized financially, you’re subjecting yourself to late fees, accrued interest charges, high expense investments, overpriced insurance policies with inadequate coverage, the list goes on.
You also could subject yourself or your family to hardship in case something happens. If your beneficiary designations are incorrect, who ends up with your money? Forgot to update your personal information on your disability insurance? Now they can deny your claim.
So, now that we’ve covered a few reasons why it’s important to spring clean your finances…
1. First, make a list or spreadsheet of all of your financial accounts. Bank, investment, 401k, credit cards, etc. It’s helpful if you already use an app like mint.com or similar to keep track of things.
2. Next, go through your accounts and ensure your personal information is correct. You don’t want tax forms or checks going to the wrong address. While you’re at it, make sure you have a current beneficiary designation for each account.
3. Now, review your transactions.
4. If possible, set up automatic bill pay for all bills, and full balance auto payments for your credit cards. This way, you never have to worry about remembering to pay a bill on time or transferring funds on time.
5. Now, time to look at your investments. Is it time to consolidate all those old 401ks? Use tools like Missing Money to see if you have any accounts floating around.
6. Once you’ve gotten a polished list/spreadsheet of your accounts, set up autopay, enrolled in e-delivery, and optimized your documentation and investments, it’s time to look at your insurance.
Transparency now can reduce issues in the future
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Effective September 8th, 2022
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