With the new season almost upon us, it’s not just your house you’ll want to think about getting into order – your finances can always do with a bit of a spring clean too.
Of course, you’ll need more than a feather duster and a bit of polish. But the benefits of spending a bit of time getting your finances and financial documents in order include a greater oversight over your earnings and spendings, and a little peace of mind. And who couldn’t use that when looking over their finances?
Get your documents in order
It’s easy, over the course of a year, to let your documents get a little out of order. You stuff bills and contracts in the bottom of a drawer, bank statements in a box you never look at. Pretty soon, you find that you’ve completely lost control of your documents.
Start with a good spring clean here. Reorganise all important documents by type- so you can always lay your hand on specific files. Next, place them in date order. It’ll give you a fantastic overview of your finances. You’ll also be able to easily see if all your contact details are accurate.
Just remember, don’t just throw out all your old or unnecessary paperwork. Protect yourself from fraud and make sure you shred anything you don’t need.
One of the best ways to keep all your finances in order is to go paperless. There is a major benefit to doing so – and not just because it stops your house cluttering up with financial statements you have to clear out in the next spring clean.
Paperless offers a fantastic financial insight. You won’t have to wait for the postman to deliver your important documents. You can get online and check out your statements and all the Ts & Cs at your convenience, all neatly organised on screen.
You can set up paperless banking easily via your internet banking portal. And other places, including workplaces, are also swiftly moving towards paperless statements.
Review all your out-goings
Now is the perfect time to assess all your out-goings (and incomings too, for that matter). Christmas is over and you’re likely on an even financial keel now after those dark winter months. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to set up a budget.
List all financial transactions you make on a monthly basis. Be on the look out for any unnecessary payments too – subscription services you never use; gym memberships. That sort of thing. You may be surprised at what you’re spending, and where you can make savings.
Finally, you’ll have an opportunity to see if you’re paying too much for services, or not getting the best deals with your bank – so look into switching everything from energy providers to phone tariffs.
Check your credit score
No matter what your age and financial status, checking your credit score is vital. It’s incredibly easy to get hold of this, either by contacting the big three credit agencies directly, or by applying online. Credit scores essentially show you what lenders see when you apply for credit.
However, it’s not just important when looking at the likelihood of being accepted for loans and credit cards. It also allows you to keep your eyes peeled for payments you don’t recognise or those who shouldn’t be paying.
Once again, by getting hold of your credit score, you’ll be able to take greater control over your money – not to mention the peace of mind that comes knowing your spring-cleaned finances are in order.