Spring cleaning your finances

April 13th, 2018

Spring is finally here with everything in full bloom and bright view. You know what that means. It’s time to dust off the old and make room for the new with a good spring cleaning!

But wait. What about all the things we don’t see? Like the true state of our finances. It makes you think – what’s slipped away without you noticing or piled up on counters in the dark, messy corners of your house?

Freshly organizing your money may not seem as fun as planting your garden or setting up your patio area, but it does reap plenty of rewards.

Ready to get your finances on track with a tune-up? Great. We’ve worked out all the mechanics for you with our easy task list.

Financial Clean-Up Task List

  1. Clear it

    In today’s digital world, there’s no excuse for financial clutter. Do you have multiple bank accounts or more credit cards than you need? Now’s the time to review and consolidate so they’re easier to manage. Go through your card usage to save you loads on interest charges and annual fees. While you’re at it, go paperless and opt for electronic statements.

  2. Review it

    Scan your recent bank statements, bills and credit score for recurring expenses, monthly costs and any obvious inaccuracies. The key is to be realistic about what you pay for and what you actually use. Can you lower your phone or cable expenses? It’s worth a call to find out. And, isn’t it a good time to get rid of all those memberships and subscriptions you keep meaning to cancel anyway? Consider downloading a budgeting app to help you be more conscious about your spending.

  3. Automate it

    Missed a payment or two? Don’t rely on your memory when it comes to paying your dues on time. Do yourself a favour and switch to automated billings. Schedule withdrawals on or close to your paydays, so you never have to break a sweat again.

  4. Back it

    Accessing your electronic documents only goes so far back with most banks having a cut off at some point. Avoid the risk and download all the important documents you need, especially for tax time. Back them up on a hard drive or better yet, up to the cloud so you can sync them with all your other devices.

  5. Guard it

    You can’t beat the convenience of banking and shopping online, but the potential for fraudulent activity is scarily real. Play it safe. Reset your passwords to stronger ones to deny scammers access into your accounts. If you have any credit card information saved to online accounts, delete them right away – it’s like keeping your front door open.

  6. Eliminate it

    Debt. It’s a lot to carry. Dig into it by arranging what you owe into categories (mortgage, credit cards, etc.), keeping track of balances, interest rates and payment arrangements. Make a solid plan to rev up your debt repayment. For your credit cards, contact your provider and ask for a rate reduction. Every little bit helps.

  7. Cash it

    Why spend when you can get it for free? Cash in your unredeemed rewards and gift cards to free up your cash flow for other purposes, such as debt repayment. It’s even easier when you use helpful wallet apps so you don’t have to carry so many cards around.

  8. Rebalance it

    Give your investment portfolio a check-up to establish your tolerance for risk and volatility. Do your allocations still match your investment goals? Is your portfolio diversified enough? How much might you be losing out to investment expenses and management fees?

  9. Revisit it

    With your finances in better order, your next move is to revisit your budget, money goals and retirement plans to make sure everything is still lining up. Are there ways you can save more or reduce expenses? Make updates regularly to ensure you stay on track.

  10. Visualize it

    We saved the fun for last. With all your financial matters freshly organized, you’ll want to keep the momentum going. Create a vision board to help bring your goals to life. How will your money help manifest what you desire? Don’t hold back. Map it all out and see what happens.

Getting your money in check after a cold hard winter is never an easy thing. Armed with the right to-do list, you’ll get back on your feet, open the curtains wide and look through all those nooks and crannies to clean your finances for the better.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Equitable Bank. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Equitable Bank.