Spring can be a good time to streamline and reset your finances – just before you kick off your summer vacation plans.
If you’re in the mood to do a little spring cleaning, here are five tips that could help you declutter your financial life.
Spending plans and budget goals can change year to year based on what’s happening in your life. For example, did you start a new job, get a salary bump or welcome a new family member?
Take a look at your spending and see if there are any expenses you might want to trim or even eliminate, such as unused memberships or subscriptions. Any extra dollars you save can be reallocated towards other financial goals you want to prioritize (like buying a home or saving for your kid’s education).
When it comes to tackling debt, it can sometimes feel like you’re staring down an overstuffed closet in your home – the one you don’t want to open for fear of what might fall out.
But it’s important to take stock of what you owe, whether that’s credit card balances or personal loans.
Because once you have a clear picture of your debt, it can help you decide on the best strategy to pay them off. If you’re juggling multiple debt payments each month, debt consolidation may be an option to help you organize and streamline those payments.
Keep in mind that the quicker you pay off debt, the sooner you can free up those dollars in your budget and put them towards other financial goals.
Spring can be a good time to reprioritize your savings goals if you fell a little short last year.
If you’ve uncovered some saving opportunities after dusting off your budget, think about putting those dollars to work in a high-yield savings or certificate of deposit account, where you could earn interest.
Also, if your bank offers the option, consider setting up automatic deposits to your savings account if you haven’t already done so. Automating your savings can be a smart way to help build good money habits. Even if you can only put a little away each month, you’ll be surprised at how much you can save over time.
Done with taxes for the year? If so, take a moment to file away your important tax documents and other financial records, so that they’re not sitting out in a pile collecting dust. You’ll then also be able to find these documents quickly and easily if you need them again in the future.
No matter what your personal organizational system may be, just remember to store your records in a secure place for safekeeping.
If you’re tired of collecting paper statements throughout the year, go digital where you can. For instance, sign up for paperless or e-statements with your financial institutions if that option is available.
Check up on your financial accounts and update your account information and preferences as needed. For example, make sure your income information, contribution numbers, investment strategies and beneficiaries are up to date.
If you went through some major life events last year, like a marriage or the birth of a child, see if you need to update your tax withholding information as well.
Also, some of us may have different accounts scattered across multiple institutions. If that’s the case and you’re interested in streamlining, you can consider consolidating some of those accounts at your preferred financial institution (if they offer those account services). Streamlining accounts could help you better manage your money and track your financial goals.
If you’re happy with your current banking relationships but just need help staying on top of your accounts, think about using a financial app that could help provide an organized view of all your accounts in one place.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs® but may not reflect the institutional opinions of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.