The beginning of spring is a welcome time for many of us who look to leave the winter blues behind and embrace the warmer weather and longer sun. And many of us also look forward to spring to embrace an annual tradition: Spring Cleaning! For those who wait until March and April to de-clutter our homes and lives, take advantage of de-cluttering and cleaning up your financial life with these tips:
Get to Know Your Credit Report
Now is a great time to get your free annual copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. This report will give you detailed information about your credit history, and getting reports from the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) can help you identify any discrepancies in your reports and help you avoid some really serious issues in the future when it comes to accessing credit.
If you are a “spring cleaner”, odds are that you have piles of paper in your home waiting to be bundled and tied. A great way to keep your finances clean for future springs is by going paperless with electronic statements. E-Statements are more secure than paper statements, and you can access old copies of statements using online banking. Much easier to find than in the middle of tons of documents in the bottom drawer of your desk!
Shred to Stay Secure
For any paperwork that has already piled up in your home, or for things that you cannot go paperless with, you want to make certain that any spring cleaning you do with financial documents remains secure. Shredding these documents can prevent identity theft and other fraud from happening to you or your accounts, and a variety of local governments and credit unions offer free shredding. In fact, Hudson River Financial FCU is hosting a FREE Shred-Fest on Saturday, May 11th from 9am – 1pm at our branch location. Click here to RSVP.
Cut the Plastic from Your Wallet
Finally, a great way to de-clutter your finances is by making sure that you are not overextended with Credit Card debt, or cards that are in your wallet are active and contain correct and up-to-date information. Make sure to go through your wallet and carry only the cards you actually use, as a lost or stolen wallet with a lot of cards in it could lead to a lot of fraud. And keep track of your spending so that you aren’t over-using your credit. Lastly, reviewing your card agreements for updated APR and fee schedules could open your eyes to some overspending. Check out credit consolidations like a SimplyCredit line from Hudson River Financial to clean up your credit card situation!
Good luck to all of those spring cleaners out there, and if you have questions about your financial spring cleaning, give us a call at 914-526-4015 or stop by our branch to talk more!