Tips to Spring Clean Your Finances

2013-02-26T00:00:00Z 2013-02-26T10:27:08Z Tips to Spring Clean Your FinancesState Point nwitimes.com
February 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Spring is a time of rejuvenation and fresh starts. And while spring cleaning closets, the garage and basement requires good old-fashioned work, new tools can help take the fuss out of sprucing up finances.

Review

Start by getting a complete view of your finances. Consider using a free online tool, such as Mint.com, to see all your financial accounts in one place. You can use the site to establish a budget, as it automatically categorizes your spending, making it easier to ensure you stick with your plan.

Set yourself up for success. If you’re prone to go over your budget or miss important bill payments, sign up for email or text alerts about large purchases, late fees and bounced checks.

By establishing clear goals and tracking your spending on-the-go from your phone or tablet, you’ll be more likely to save for the things you want in life and avoid debt.

De-clutter

Your online banking information can get cluttered in much the same way as your paperwork. Eliminate the “eMess” by tracking and managing all your account information in one place. For example, Quicken software lets you see your full financial picture in the form of charts and graphs. Learn where you stand and get motivated visually to meet your goals.

More information can be found at www.Quicken.Intuit.com.

Save

Saving money doesn’t have to mean forfeiting your social life or creature comforts.

Many theaters, museums, zoos and parks offer special discount days such as standing room only or pay-what-you-can nights. Some even offer free admission on certain days of the month. Or simply let the great outdoors be your entertainment. Take a hike, make a picnic, or host a backyard barbecue.

Forgo the fancy gym membership and dust off those running shoes and bike, working out the old-fashioned way. Raining? Check out community centers in your area – some may be free, or charge only minimal fees.

Refinance

Do you want to pay off high-interest debt? You can do so wisely by refinancing with more competitive rates. Newer alternatives can eliminate the costs associated with traditional bank lending.

If you have good-to-excellent credit, consider applying for an unsecured personal loan for up to $35,000 on a site like Lending Club, a leading platform for investing in and obtaining personal loans. Hundreds of people across the country can invest in your loan, which means a streamlined process and lower rates for you. More information can be found at www.LendingClub.com.

If the onset of spring is your cue to organize your finances, let new tools help you do so with ease. 

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