published may 26, 2022.
Spring is here and that means it’s time for spring cleaning!
You don’t have to grab the mop and bucket, though; we’re talking about freshening up your finances.
It’s the perfect time to start reflecting on your money goals and get a plan in place.
Look at your budget.
This is where it all starts: budgeting. Before you can plan for a vacation, or buy a home or new car, you need to see where your money is going. Whether it’s the first time you’re looking at your finances from this perspective, or giving them an update, this is a great time to get a budget built. We have a tool that can help you get started.
Put together a debt pay-off plan.
Not all debt is created equal. Some debt, like a mortgage or student loan, can represent an investment in yourself and the future. On the other hand, debt that’s used to buy things that quickly lose value can be a burden, especially if it carries a high interest rate. Plan to shed the debt you don’t want and keep it off.
“First things first: Have money put away for emergencies.”
You could start with the smallest balances and move on to larger balances, referred to as the “debt snowball method.” Paying off smaller debts first nets quicker "wins" to motivate you to keep going. Paying off an entire credit card, for example, is also likely to boost your credit score.
Another option is the debt avalanche method. You pay off your highest interest rates first, saving you more money in the long run.
There is no rule saying you cannot do them both! A hybrid method can help you start with an early win, providing motivation to then attack your high-cost debt.
Hit those savings goals.
First things first: Have money put away for emergencies. An emergency fund can help make sure you stay out of debt that can be a burden by having money on hand if something comes up.
Now that that is out of the way, you can start saving for anything. From short-term goals like a new car or vacation, to long-term goals like retirement, this is a good time to decide how much money you need to set aside to get there.
Shred old documents.
We get it. You might have some mail or documents containing personal information lying around, and you can’t bring yourself to toss them. Use this time to go through everything and decide if you really need to keep the hard copy on hand. If not, send it through a paper shredder.
Once you have your finances spruced up, you can cannonball into summer with a little less on your mind!