What Should Be on My Financial To-Do List This Spring?
Let’s review some ways you can improve your money management this time of year.
De-clutter your finances
As you sift through the junk in your home, do the same for your finances. Review your budget to cut extra expenses that are cluttering it up, like subscriptions you don’t use or upgraded apps you don’t need. Next, simplify your monthly bill-paying by moving all due dates to the same day and setting up an automatic payment so you’re never late again. Clean up your money management by using a personal finance app, like Mint, to help you budget with minimal effort. Finally, simplify your savings by setting up an automatic monthly transfer between your USF Federal Credit Union Checking Account and USF Federal Credit Union Savings Account.
Review your W-4
Post-tax season is the perfect time to look over your W-4 to determine if you’re withholding too much money — or too little. A generous tax refund might seem like good news, but it’s like giving the government an interest-free loan throughout the year. You don’t want to withhold too little money and end up with a big tax bill to pay at the end of the year either. Ask an accountant to help you find that sweet spot, or work out the numbers using the IRS’ withholding calculator.
Protect your personal information
Now that you’ve paid your taxes, it’s also a good time to get rid of any documents that can compromise your safety. You can safely shred your account statements, credit card bills and utility bills. Keep a copy of the deed of your home, your car title, unpaid loan statements and your tax returns. House these papers, as well as your most important sensitive documents, like your Social Security card, birth certificate and marriage certificate, in a fireproof box or in a locked file cabinet.
Throw away a debt
Get serious about getting out of debt by making a list of your debts in order from smallest to largest. Work out a plan for maximizing your payments on this debt, acquiring the necessary funds by pruning an expense category on your monthly budget or taking on freelance work for extra cash. Once you’ve paid off your smallest debt, work on the next-smallest debt until you’re completely debt-free.
Shop for springtime deals
Consumer Reports recommends shopping for vacuum cleaners, digital cameras, air purifiers, space heaters and roofing in early spring.
Start saving for summer
If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to start putting money away for your summer getaway. Every little bit adds up, and the earlier you start saving, the more money you’ll have to spend on that dream vacation.
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