Roll up your sleeves and crack a window: It’s time for spring cleaning. And, while you’re sifting through your closet, your attic or your piled-up paperwork, it may be a good time to tidy up your finances too.
Follow this five-step checklist, and you’ll be set for the year ahead.
- Dust off your
budget. A lot can change in a year. Whether
you’ve been promoted, had a child, moved homes or picked up a new
hobby, it’s a good idea to revisit your income and spending. Make
sure your budget accurately reflects your finances, revise spending
limits and look for ways to improve saving habits.
- Cut the clutter.
That stack of bank statements on your desk
isn’t just a hassle – it can put you at risk for fraud if your
information gets in the wrong hands. Luckily, going paperless has
never been easier. Sign up for electronic billing on your bank
account, utilities, insurance and other regular expenses. It’s
more environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to worry about
sorting financial information from your junk mail and putting it
through the shredder.
Not sure how you’ll monitor your payments? With mobile banking, you can monitor your balance, check transactions, deposit checks and pay bills with the tap of a finger. Plus, all your information will be protected in an encrypted account.
- Lighten the load.
Worried about late payments? Managing them
doesn’t have to be a headache – it can be as easy as setting up
autopay in your bank account. The transaction will occur
automatically on the dates you’ve scheduled. If you prefer manual
payment, you can also send money instantly through a banking app
- Get rid of what
doesn’t fit. While you’re boxing up your
kids’ too-small shoes and outmoded outfits, it’s worth taking a
look at your finances to see what you’ve outgrown. Do you have a
gym membership you never use? A subscription to a magazine that
gathers dust on your coffee table? Turn off payments for all the
services and features you don’t use, including expired “free
Another thing to check: your insurance. Are you still getting the best deals? Have your coverage needs changed? By adjusting your plan periodically, you’ll save money in the long run.
- Get organized. A solid financial plan can help you move forward with peace of mind. Make sure you’ve developed a long-term plan for saving (college, retirement or emergency fund) and debt payment. It may help to consult a financial advisor to ensure you’re on the right track.
The best spring cleaning is one that sets you up for success. Look for ways to build smart financial habits over time, and you’ll enjoy more security, confidence and peace of mind in the year to come.
Axiom Bank, N.A., a nationally chartered community bank headquartered in Central Florida, provides retail banking services, including checking, savings, money market and CD accounts, as well as commercial banking, treasury management services and commercial loans for both real estate and business purposes.