5 Tips to "Spring Clean" Your Personal Finances
For many, springtime is a time to do some home repairs and tidying up, but it doesn't necessarily have to be spring to de-clutter your personal finances. Whether you're in the middle of summer, the dead of winter, or anywhere in between, here are 5 tips to spruce up your personal finances.
- Download and back up your bank statements. Most banks will archive these online for a few years, but you may need them in the future. To save yourself the hassle later, download and save copies of them on your computer. Designate a folder just for this purpose and back it up in case your computer crashes.
- Review your investments. Look over your retirement portfolio and savings. If you're unhappy with the returns, seek advice, shop around and reallocate your funds accordingly. CDs can be a smart savings tactic—they're easy to open and essentially hassle-free to manage. Plus, everything can be done online, from opening an account to keeping track of its progress.
- Review your insurance portfolio and evaluate your options to save money. Most companies offer discounts if you purchase all your policies—home, life, auto, etc.—from them. Even though changing insurance companies may not always be the most cost-effective option, it costs nothing to get quotes. Spending a little time on research could put hundreds of dollars back into your personal finances per year. Even if you decide not to switch, make sure your agent is aware of any changes that may lower your premiums such as a new job closer to home or the addition of a garage to your property. Don't be afraid to ask for a loyalty discount if you've had the same policy for years.
- Cancel unnecessary recurring debits. Print out your most recent bank statement and go through it. How many services do you have on automatic payment that you never use? Review these charges and cancel the subscriptions you don't use. You could use the savings you find toward paying down debt.
- Order new documents and supplies. Take the time now to request checkbooks, deposit slips, new wallets and ledger pages. Even if you usually use electronic versions of these items, keeping a book of checks and a few deposit slips stashed away safely can be a good idea. For electronic bookkeepers, make sure your software is paid through the next year so it won't expire halfway through the year.
Another way to clean up your personal finances is to tap into the convenience and competitive interest rates available at Ally Bank. We have the tools to help you reach your financial goals, from our Ally Interest Checking Account and the Online Savings Account to a full line of CDs and more. Learn more at Allybank.com or call live, 24/7 customer care at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.