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How spring cleaning your finances could save you money

How spring cleaning your finances could save you moneyPhoto from Unsplash

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Amidst the hustle of tax season, March also brings the bustle of spring. With 80% of Americans1 planning to spend time spring cleaning this year, don’t forget that your finances could benefit from a refresh. Not only does this allow you to check in on goals and the progress you’re making, you can also save money for those rainy days.

Get in the right place at the right time

More daylight at this time of year can be a fun escape, though there’s no room to run when it comes to your bills. Penalties kick in when you miss or make a late payment, and credit card companies collected more than $14 billion2 in these fees in 2022. While U.S. lawmakers recently announced regulatory plans to cap these fees at $8 (down from an average of $32), it’s still undetermined how these rules could be applied across the industry.

It’s a timely reminder that avoiding these fees is a step within our own control.

Jotting down your recurring bills and when their payments are due is a great starting point and will also let you reflect on whether you want to keep paying for all those services. Calendar reminders can serve as self-checkpoints, and setting up autopay for the bills you’re comfortable with can also relieve some of that mental load.

Free yourself from the paper trail

Piles of paper around the house are another target for deep cleaners, but make sure to take a close look before feeding them to the shredder or recycling bin. The IRS recommends3 keeping tax records for three years, possibly longer if certain situations apply. You’ll also want to help safeguard any estate planning documents like a will, trust and bank account information.

Beyond the financial essentials, it’s likely the flood of looseleaf around your house is similar to the 63 billion4 postcards, coupons, catalogs and product offers sent to Americans in 2022, otherwise known as junk mail. A site set up by the Association of National Advertisers,, allows you to pay a small fee in exchange for cutting the amount of promotional offers that end up in your home. Prescreened offers for financial products like new loans, insurance or credit cards are also mailbox staples. Thanks to the 1996 Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re able to withdraw from them for five years, using the website.

Declutter your digital stacks

Reclaiming your space also applies to your online emails and accounts. The Federal Trade Commission reports that consumers lost more than $10 billion5 to fraud in 2023, setting a new high that amounted to a 14% year-over-year increase.

Freshening up passwords for your logins can pay off in terms of time, frustration and your identity. Password strength is a mix of complexity, variety and organization, and a password manager like 1Password or LastPass6 can help with all of those tasks.

Investing some time clicking “unsubscribe” in your inbox will also leave you with fewer inbound messages you won’t need and, in turn, gives more space to the notifications that you must take action on (like those bill reminders we talked about).

Keep your clean slate

With strong habits in place, it’s easier to keep them going as the seasons change. It’s normal for your finances to need polishing during the year, and making time for maintenance will help you avoid accumulating too much buildup.

And as with many household tasks, you can also get some help to keep you on track. A financial advisor can be a year-round guide that can ease the transition as life happens. With 73% of Americans believing that a solid financial plan would bring them happiness, according to Empower research, doing a deep clean and getting a strong hold on your finances now can put a spring in your step for years to come.

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