For many of us, the arrival of spring means one thing – it’s time to clean house! While we do our best to keep our homes neat and clean all year, spring is the one season we dedicate to truly tackling our mess from top to bottom. But spring isn’t just a good time to tackle the clutter in your home. It’s also the perfect time to address your financial clutter, too.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Navy Federal Credit Union. All opinions are 100% mine.
By giving your finances a thorough spring cleaning each year, you’ll set yourself up for success as you navigate the seasons ahead. Not sure how to tackle the task? Here are a few steps you can take to spring clean your finances:
BUILD YOUR BUDGET.
It’s hard to have a good handle on your personal finances without having a budget. Since it’s highly likely your income and expenses vary slightly each year, it’s always a good idea to sit down each spring and write everything out to make sure you’re still on track to spend – and save – as much as you need to accomplish your goals.
The idea of creating a budget can be intimidating, but the process doesn’t have to be difficult. There are tons of websites, apps, and spreadsheets out there that will walk you through the process, but you don’t need anything fancy to make it happen. Figure out how much money you need to cover your bills and living expenses each month, compare that against your income, and determine how much you can set aside to save for the future and pay down debt once your essential costs are covered. With a little diligence and tracking, you’ll be in a better position to manage your finances than ever before.
REVIEW YOUR CREDIT REPORT.
Most of us check our credit reports only when we need to. Years of warnings against pulling our credit have trained us to keep our credit scores out of sight and out of mind. Fortunately, laws have changed recently, making it easier than ever to review your credit score – and the factors that contribute to it – without negative consequences.
Now, you can use websites like Credit Karma to check your credit whenever you choose, and many credit cards will give you access to your FICO score as an added perk. Keep an eye on your rating and review your full credit report a couple of times a year to check for questionable activity. If you’re the primary cardholder of a Navy Federal Credit Card, you can view your FICO score for free anytime online or through your mobile app.
EVALUATE YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS.
When was the last time you gave your bank accounts a good, long look? Are you getting the best interest rates on your savings accounts? Do you know what monthly or annual fees you’re paying to maintain your accounts? What about your credit cards? If it’s been a while since you’ve last given everything a close examination, now’s the time to do it.
If you don’t like what you see and decide it’s time for a change, or you’d just like to explore other options, consider Navy Federal Credit Union. They’ve shown me world-class member service, offered me guidance on building my personal budget and managing my finances, and given me the peace of mind I need to bank with confidence. Whether I need a loan, a new savings account, or financial guidance, I know I can count on Navy Federal to meet my needs.
This May, in honor of those who are serving or have served, Navy Federal is celebrating Military Appreciation Month with special offers on certificates, auto refinancing, credit cards and more for all members. Visit navyfederal.org/celebrate before May 31 to enjoy special offers, or learn about how to become a member.