With the first day of Spring (March 20, 2013) just a few days away, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning. As you clean your home for the new season, take a couple of hours to try these financial “spring cleaning” tips.
#1 Check Your Credit Score
Many people have no idea what their credit score is – not until it matters! Did you know that you’re entitled to check your credit score for free once per year? By checking your credit score, you can be aware of any fraud issues that may have popped up since you last looked. Checking your credit regularly is a good habit to be in.
#2 Institute a Budget
Next, if you aren’t operating on a budget, the time to start is now. We’ve created a simple guide that will help you institute a budget in your household if you don’t currently have one. When you have a budget, not only will you manage your money better, but you’ll also have less financial stress. Trust on this one: the upfront work is totally worth it!
#3 Use an Online Finance Tracker
Websites like Mint.com are great options for tracking your finances. When you use a service like Mint.com, you can see exactly where your money is going in a safe and secure way. Also, you can keep track of your finances on your mobile phone or tablet.
#4 Look for Better Interest Rates
When you use a service like Mint.com, you might get notifications that you can get better interest rates or a better return on your savings. It’s important to think about interest rates. Sure, a few dollars difference might not matter much from month to month. But when you look at the grand picture, a slightly higher interest rate can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars more in your savings.
#5 Have Your Home Inspected
If you’re a homeowner, it’s important that you know what your house is worth. Have a home inspector visit your property to assess it for structural damage. It’s better to know now than to find out later when you’re trying to sell. Like checking your credit, it’s a good idea to have regular home inspections.
#6 Consider Refinancing
Are you still paying old pre-crash mortgage rates? Why? Talk to your mortgage lender about refinancing. If you’re in good financial condition, then this could be a great way to save some money.
#7 Take an Axe to Your Debt
Lastly, the time to strike out debt is now. Not only does debt cost you more money each month, but it’s stressful. With your new budget, prioritize eliminating your debt. There are few things more beneficial than eliminating debt that you could do for yourself this spring!Back To All Consumer Resources