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4 Tips for Financial Spring Cleaning

Apr 19, 2017

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and tax season is finally behind us. Spring is in full swing, and after you put away the puffy coats and sweaters, turn your attention to cleaning up your personal finances. Here are a few tips to help you start the season off right with financial spring cleaning:

4 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Organize Your Important Documents

According to the IRS, you should hold on to your old tax returns for a minimum of three years depending on your filing status. As part of your financial spring cleaning, organize documents like vehicle titles, mortgage paperwork, checkbooks, emergency credit cards, and any documents with your Social Security number, routing number, or account number. Picking up an accordion folder with various tabs is an inexpensive way to organize your personal. For a steeper investment, consider purchasing a fireproof box with a key or combination for added security.

Check Your Credit

Make it a habit to check your credit every spring to monitor for unusual activity and keep tabs on your score. Organizing your finances can directly affect your credit, and a strong credit score is key to your financial well-being. You will need a good credit score to obtain loans, credit cards, and favorable interest rates. AnnualCreditReport.com provides a free report annually. If your score has room for improvement, look into financial wellness services from PFCU’s financial literacy partner – Clarifi. Clarifi can help answer questions about credit scores, mortgages, how to afford the high cost of tuition, or even how to pay for your child’s wedding one day. To schedule a financial counseling appointment, call PFCU’s hotline at 855-761-4975.

Manage Your Auto-Pay Subscriptions

Gym memberships, television and music streaming services, news subscriptions – while these costs are relatively small individually, when added up they can account for a large chunk of change. Take an afternoon this spring to search through your monthly spending to add up all your recurring subscriptions.  In organizing your subscriptions, you may find there are some that you intended to cancel, but they slipped through the cracks.

Safely Dispose of Outdated Paperwork

To protect your personal finances and identity, be sure to safely dispose of old pay stubs, voided checks, and anything that has personal information on it like your name, address, phone number, Social Security number, or bank account information. For the convenience of our members, PFCU hosts several paper shredding events throughout the year. The next Shredding Day will take place on Saturday, April 22, at PFCU’s Operations Center at 12800 Townsend Road. You can find the full 2017 Shredding Day Schedule here. In order to keep the events running quickly and smoothly, we ask that attendees follow a few guidelines:

  • Please arrive early before the trucks reach capacity.
  • Limit the number of boxes to three (3).
  • Do not use plastic bags. Paper bags, bins, or boxes are preferred.
  • We will not accept phone books or other types of paper that can be disposed of in your personal recycling bin.
  • We will not accept documents from local businesses.

Just like the satisfaction you feel after putting away the winter gear, you’ll certainly feel accomplished after spending an afternoon organizing your finances. Check back later this month as we explore the different savings options available for PFCU members! Happy spring!

Erin Ellis

Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor ®
Philadelphia Federal Credit Union
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