I know. I know. It’s freezing cold outside and we are right smack-dab in the middle of winter – but I feel the need to do a little financial spring cleaning.
First, I need to go through my filing cabinet and gather up all income tax-related documents. W-2′s will arrive soon – and I want to file my taxes as soon as possible this year. I also want to go through my old tax returns, label them, and store them in a more orderly fashion.
Second, I’ll sift through the rest of my files, discarding any unnecessary documents, bill stubs, or letters. Over the past four years, I’ve changed banks, cellular providers, satellite television providers, etc. I just need to see if I have any “stuff” hanging around that I can send through the old shredder. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to trashing documents, so if I even think I might need to keep one, I’ll keep it. That being said, I’m pretty sure I can get rid of the manual and sales receipt for an old push-mower – one I bought ten years ago and no longer own!
After that, I’ll update my list of financial accounts. Three or four times a year, I like to go through my financial accounts, update and change passwords, make sure that contact information is correct, and make note of any new accounts I might have opened. I like to have an inventory of those accounts – one copy that I keep with my regular files and one copy locked away in our emergency safe.
Next, I think it’s time to print out a new copy and update my grocery store price-book. I use the price-book to track the price of groceries (and other items found at the local grocery store). When an item hits its rock-bottom price, I stock up. My current price-book is several years old and a little tattered. Now that I’m back to healthy eating, I’m tracking different items.
Finally, I need to go through and organize all of the various finance-related files that are on my computers. I have two laptops – my old Lenovo and my current Mac – and I also have an old desktop. I have various files on all three, and I really need to consolidate those files and password-protect them. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, and this freezing cold weather outside is as good a reason as any to take an hour or so and just get it done.
What about you? Do you have any financial spring cleaning that needs to be done? If so, don’t wait until spring – Do it now!