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Tidying up your finances this spring

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Spring is just around the corner – March 20th to be exact. With the seasons changing from the bitter cold of winter to the renewal and regrowth of spring, this is the perfect time to de-clutter and organize your life. While spring cleaning is usually associated with an overhaul of your house, it’s also a great time to do a review of your finances.

Here are five relatively easy ways to start tidying up this spring:
1.Recycle your plastic
Review your credit card statements and what you are putting on them. Maybe you have more than one card, and can get rid of one you don’t use that often (hint: chuck the one with the higher interest rate). Or perhaps you have two cards with substantial balances and want to talk to someone about a plan for paying down your debt. If you collect rewards through your credit card(s), check your rewards balance and consider planning how you want to effectively use your points.

2.Make some payments a little less automatic
Review any payments that are automatically charged to your credit card. Decide which ones you still need and which ones can be cancelled. Your gym membership may be important to keep as a part of your healthy lifestyle. The automatic re-load on your pre-paid coffee card? Not so much.

3.Review your insurance
Review all your insurance policies to make sure they are relevant and appropriate for your life stage. Maybe your work benefits have changed, or you would like to add additional coverage that is more important to you today.

You and your needs change over time, and this may be the perfect time to see if your insurance needs have changed too.

4.Reduce your records
Go through all your paper files and get rid of anything that you no longer have to keep. Keep in mind the general rule of thumb for the length of time you need to keep certain documents. Things like a marriage or birth certificate should never be thrown out, tax documents should be kept for six years, but bills and bank statements you have had for at least a year can usually be shredded. ATM receipts and most purchase receipts can be thrown out as soon as you verify them against your statement. Feel free to contact our office regarding what specifically you need to keep for tax purposes.

5.Go paperless
Instead of sorting through a ton of mail each month, sign up to receive e-statements and pay your bills online. This makes it easy to keep track of your payments, eliminates paper clutter, and is better for the environment.

Source: http://www.ipcpeterborough.com/eNewsletter/March2014/ARTICLE1099.aspx