Time for some Financial Spring Cleaning!

Spring is here. Time for some Cleaning. Along with the allergies comes the urge to spiff up and clutter down around the house. While you’re spring cleaning, But don’t limit your cleaning to your home or your backyard. Save some of that energy for the financial cleaning as well.

Clean out musty old accounts. Have any money wasting away in long-forgotten checking accounts, passbook savings, safe deposit boxes … the sock drawer with Grandma’s birthday envelopes? Dust ‘em off and get that cash working hard. And make sure you check out our Help Center for information on “unclaimed property,” also called “escheatment.”

Refresh funds with automatic savings plans. What better way to give your finances a boost each month than with an electronic cash drop into an interest-bearing account. They’re usually free and before you know it, you’ll have immediate savings.

Scrub and buff the credit, too. Regular credit upkeep will help keep your financial house in order. Use plastic responsibly, try not to carry a monthly balance, pay down the high-interest cards and unsightly balances first. Find out your credit score, understand what it means and strive to keep it as high as possible. Also, get your yearly free credit report from the bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Take bank fees out to the curb. If you’re paying excessive overdraft fees or getting dinged with ATM and convenience fees, now’s the time to get rid of them. Chuck the old bank account and shop around for a better one while you’re at it.

Give recurring bills a Spring tune-up. Clean up and flush out monthly bills like cable, cell phones, newspaper delivery, etc. Keep only the services you really need, ask for discounts and vow to find 20% savings across the board.

So, Get cleaning my friend!

Resources:
The Wall Street Journal. Personal Finance Workbook

Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties

The Complete Personal Finance Handbook: A Step-by-Step Instructions to Take Control of Your Financial Future With Companion CD-ROM