Spring Clean Your Finances

by David Bakke

spring cleaningSo, another tax season has come and gone.  I hope everyone fared well out there and got through it all without any major hassles and of course, without any audits!

Usually about this time of year, I like to take a little “breather” financially, as the few weeks that I use to prepare my taxes are kind of intense.  After my taxes are done and filed and I’ve received my refunds, I try to take a step back.  Not to forget about my finances, but to merely take them from the forefront for a few days.

After my mind is refreshed, I then like to “spring clean” my finances.

What in the world is that, you ask?

Spring cleaning my finances is something that I do every spring around this time of year and then also again sometime towards the end of the year, usually around September (sorry, haven’t come up with a cool nickname for that part yet).

Anyways, spring cleaning involves taking a good hard look at what I am really spending money on each month to see if there are any opportunities for savings.

Specifically I’ll get out my cell phone bill, look at my minutes usage, and usually call my company to see if there is a cheaper plan I can get on.  Trust me, it’s not like they’re going to call you if a cheaper option comes your way.

Then, I’ll see if there is a gas company out there with a cheaper rate as well.  The same goes for cable and internet.  Of course, I certainly don’t switch providers on all four services every six months, but where I live, these are four highly competitive industries and there are usually some good deals out there.

Also, I like to take a closer look at my credit card bills during this time.  Don’t get me wrong, I check my statements each month.  However, usually, my purchases come from the same places on a monthly basis, and most of the time, the review of my statement is more of a quick scan for any charges I didn’t make and certainly no fees.   Every six months, I take a much closer look at each bill just to make sure each line item is correct.  You might be saying that I should do this each month, and maybe you’re right, but this system has worked for me so far.

If you’re not doing any of this at all, ever, you may want to consider looking into it.  Your needs and usages change over the course of time and looking into these matters can make for some significant savings if you are looking into them on somewhat of a regular basis.

As always, your comments and suggestions are appreciated below.

{ 2 comments }

1 Cajun Chef Ryan April 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Good advice on all accounts. Uncle Sam took his fair share and now that the dust has settled this is a perfect time to review all the major expenses and also to find new tax breaks that can be applied now in preparation for next year’s tax hemorrhagic!

2 David Bakke April 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for weighing in Ryan!

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