Spring is here! The new season brings sounds of birds chirping as well as the reminder that it is time to clean out gardens, garages, basements, and closets. For some, the idea of spring cleaning sparks excitement, for others, pure dread. Worry not, because here are three simple things you can do to apply the spirit of spring cleaning to your finances.
1. Get Organized and Declutter
It’s easy to have your financial documents pile up over time and when you need to access something important it is often stressful to comb through piles of papers. (Click here to see how long you should hold onto documents in their physical form). 2022 could be the year you go paperless once and for all. As you’re going through your documents this spring, create digital copies of your important files, backing them up to the cloud or an external hard drive. Once you have digitally saved your paperwork, start shredding! Current Bloom Advisors clients also have access to our client portal which allows for secure sharing and storing of important documents. (Interested in gaining access? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details).
2. Run a Credit Check
Did you know that federal law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, to provide consumers with a free credit report every 12 months upon request? Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to download your free credit report and review the findings to ensure you’re in good standing. Being proactive about reviewing your credit report each year can help you track your progress, determine any inaccuracies and is a great way to stay in control of your finances.
3. Streamline Subscriptions
How many 30-day free trials have you signed up for and forgot to cancel? Did you find yourself oversubscribing to every streaming platform and food delivery service during the height of the COVID lockdown? This might be the time to look at your subscriptions and determine if you still need or want them. These are items that really can add up and become much more costly than anticipated. If you aren’t taking advantage of a subscription, cancel it. If you still utilize the services, do some research to see if there are cheaper options or alternatives. There is also no shame in calling these providers to renegotiate your bill. Most of the time they are happy to offer a discount incentive for remaining a customer. If you don’t want to spend the time making calls to your providers, consider a service like Trim, which will look for recurring expenses and cancel them for you, as well as negotiate lower cable, internet, and phone bills on your behalf.
Where will you start? These quick and easy tips can help anyone begin to clean up their finances. Remember to take one project at a time and enjoy the reward of feeling that your financial house is in order. Happy Spring!