Spring is here. That means it's time to start cleaning. Many people clean their house or their yard. Even cleaning out the car feels great after a long winter. It's also a great time to give some attention to your money. Last year I gave a few money spring cleaning tips. Here are ten more that will help your finances for the rest of the year.
Where is your money? Make sure you know!
Update Your Budget Categories
Hopefully you have a budget in place. If you don't there are some great resources out there. But if you do have a budget, it's time to take a look at it. You likely have budget categories in place. Now is a great time to review them and make sure they're still current. Something that you spent money on in the past may no longer be applicable. Conversely, you may have a recurring category that you need to add. Now's a great time to update all this. Accurate information leads to better informed decisions.
Review Your Spending
If you're tracking your spending, that's fantastic. Now is the time to look at things and make sure you know your spending. If you find that a budget category is steadily creeping up, maybe it's time to do something about it. Review your budget and make sure it's still working for you.
Look For Spending Leaks
Once you've got your budget in check, see if you can start reducing your spending in a few areas. Look for areas that are too high, whether it be because they went up or because your priorities have changed.
Fix Those Leaks
Identifying your leaks is step one. But, taking action is the key part. If you need to change your cable plan to reduce spending, here's your opportunity to make it happen. Maybe you can reduce your spending by using coupons at the grocery store. Plugging a couple of leaks will put money back in your pocket.
Review Your Retirement Allocations
If you are contributing through your 401(k) or through an adviser, look at your allocations. As you get older, you might want to be in less risky investments. If some of your investments have performed better than others, they might need to be re-weighted. Now is the time to review and make changes to your retirement allocations.
Update Your Contribution
A good rule of thumb that I have is to increase my contributions as I get raises. This makes it practically invisible to save more. If you haven't done this, look at your contribution and see if you can increase it. At the very least, ensure that you're contributing enough to get any company match you're entitled to.
Check Your Beneficiaries
If you pass away, your retirement savings should be directed to your next of kin. Make sure you have this updated. Even if you've set this up, it's not a bad idea to check that it's still in place and that everything is accurate.
If you still have multiple 401(k) plans out there because of job switches, think about combining them. Less accounts mean less paperwork and less time tracking information.
Review Your Goals
If you've got money directed toward a savings account, make sure you know what it's for. Are you looking to increase your emergency fund? Perhaps you're saving for a big trip? Regardless of your goals, make sure that you're aligning your savings with your goals.
Is your saving level increasing compared to where you were in the past? Are you saving more as your income increases? Now is a great time to make sure that your saving goals are being met.
There you have it. Those are ten ideas money spring cleaning tips that can help your finances today and all year around.
Readers, do you spring clean your finances? What other tips do you have? How has reviewing your money helped achieve your goals? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.
On a side note I recently saved some money on car insurance and have started creating a list to share that I will continue to expand to help some of our visitors save also.