Spring cleaning your money

Tips on how to tidy up your finances this spring.

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Time to wash the windows, clean out the eaves, pull out the fridge and stove. Yup, it’s spring, and with it comes buckets of soapy water and a determination to get everything shipshape. Hey, don’t forget your money.

It’s easy to accumulate a lot of junk in the junk drawer, and a lot of silly spending in a budget. Just as you’d dump the stuff out of the drawer and decide what should be there and shouldn’t be, it’s time to take a good look at your budget to see if there are expenses that have accumulated that you need to get rid of. Sure that cable bill crept up as you spent winter nights cocooning on the couch. But with spring in the air and in your step, put your cable on hold (yes, they let you do this) and pour all that money on your most expensive debt or into your emergency fund. Or pile it up for that trip to your brother’s you’re planning for mid-summer.

Next, take a good look at all the financial stuff that you’ve been meaning to get to but just didn’t. You know that will you swore you’d put in place before the end of last year? Pretty lucky you didn’t die, right? While you’re at it, get the powers of attorney done too so that if you become impaired someone can take care of you and your money properly.

Spring is a great time to toss stuff you no longer need. Do you really need the phone bills for 2010? Deciding what to keep and what to toss boils down to a couple of things: Am I likely to need this again as a reference? And am I obliged to hang onto this piece of paper just in case someone official starts asking questions?

If the answer is yes to either one, the item gets filed. No, and it joins the ranks of the recycled.

Spring cleaning is all about looking into the corners and crevices to get at the gunk you ignored. When was the last time you looked at your insurance coverage? Should you raise your deductibles to save some money? How about switching your home insurance for a better deal? Let’s face it, what made sense a few years ago when you put those policies in place, may no longer be working for you today.

With the light sparkling in through your windows, you’ll want your home to shine. Put a little elbow grease into your money and it’ll glisten too.

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