Your house and yard aren’t the only places in need of a little attention after the long winter months. It’s time for some spring cleaning with your personal finances, as well. Following tax season, spring is a great time for decluttering, organizing and getting a fresh view of your financial world.
Origin Bank has five ways you can get the most out your financial spring-cleaning projects.
- The best organization system is the one you actually use. Envelopes, file folders, computer spreadsheets and phone apps are all great options on their own or in combination. The key is an organization system that you understand and use consistently. It likely needs to account for a mix of printed and electronic documents. It also should include all personal finance information like insurance policies, mortgages, loans and investments. Store everything in a single, safe place like a filing cabinet or desk drawer.
- Balance your payments and paydays. This is a great time to see how money flows in and out of your hands throughout the month. Ideally, bills are spaced around paydays evenly, which prevents stress and allows for better planning. Businesses are usually willing to change your billing cycle, especially if it means their bills get paid on time, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Make a plan to pay off debt. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the amount of debt – focus on progress. Paying off credit cards and large bills might take years, but having a plan is critical. If an emergency hits, creditors and lenders might be more willing to work with you if they see the effort being made. And don’t be afraid to call credit companies and ask for a lower rate. You’ll have a stronger case with a track record of steady payments. Browse our website for more information, including calculators that can help with the planning process.
- Let technology work for you. Smartphones and laptops put an incredible amount of power in your hands, so use them. Origin’s personal financial management tool keeps you on top of budgeting, account aggregation, auto-categorization of transactions and debt management. You’ll stay organized by using a calendar feature for reminders on upcoming payments. Setting up automated payments and transfers is another layer of protection and a great budgeting tool.
- Start saving money. If you already do, save a little more. Putting away even a small amount each month is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay in control of your personal finances. A savings account can help with many financial aspects of life, including planning vacations, avoiding debt, unexpected emergency expenses.
One extra tip: If you don’t have a monthly budget, make one. Budgeting is not only about discipline. It helps ensure your money works for you in both the long and short term.
Need more ideas for spring cleaning? Every day, Origin Bank empowers customers with education, resources and services that build and improve financial stability. Click here or stop by your nearest Origin banking center to get a fresh financial start.