August 22, 2023

Happy Spring! Cleaning up your Finances in 2023

3-Minute Read
Tips to Get Financially Organized

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. 

Ok I get cleaning my house. But how or why would I spring clean my finances? 

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… 

Ok so I need to get financially organized. What do I need to do?

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 or similar to keep track of things. 

  • Ask yourself, does each account serve a clear and distinct purpose? If you have 3 checking accounts and 5 savings accounts, it’s probably best to consolidate unless there is a reason not to. 
  • Then, consider using an online password manager like Google to make sure your accounts have strong passwords, as well as the correct recovery email/phone number. This is important so that you don’t get locked out of your accounts and have to jump through hoops to get back in. 

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. 

  • Any fees pop up that don’t look familiar? Did your credit card charge a bogus fee? Are you paying any account maintenance fees? 
  • This is a great time to shop around for new bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards. Bank accounts with no fees, high interest, and easy transfer set up are key. For credit cards, find one with no annual fee and a rewards program that works for you. 

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. 

  • Also, start to automate a monthly amount to your savings, depending on how much surplus income you have per month. 

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. 

  • Then look at your 401k and investment accounts to make sure you’re not paying unnecessary fees or in high-expense funds. This can be tedious, so lean on your Pattern advisor to help!
  • Small savings here can mean tens of thousands of dollars saved over time. 

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. 

  • Keep your health/dental/vision card with you at all times. 
  • Keep your car insurance card in your car (two copies is useful). 
  • Keep your title in a safe, NOT in your car (in case it’s stolen or destroyed). Upload copies of your will and estate planning documents to a shared file with your descendants or personal representative. 
  • Make sure your life insurance policy is still necessary. 
  • Make sure your disability insurance policy still meets your income needs, otherwise it might be time to increase the benefit.

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