The Women's Journal

4 Ways To Clean Up Your Finances Spring!

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When it comes to Spring cleaning, it’s time to start thinking outside the box. This spirit of renewal applies to more than just your closet! Spring is an ideal time to dust off your finances and tidy up your budget. Maybe your tax returns have motivated you to increase your emergency savings for the year ahead, or perhaps you need a refresher on the New Year’s resolution you made to improve your credit score? Whatever your situation, now is the perfect time to get your financial house in order. These four strategies can help you get your personal finances in check and maintain a strong foundation for the rest of the year.

1. Clean Up Your Credit 

Your credit score can have one of the biggest impacts on your financial life – so don’t let it collect dust! Did you know you can check your credit score for free with each of the three credit bureaus? Staggering your requests every four months allows you to keep a regular eye on your credit report. Once you know your score, you can set goals to continue to improve your responsible credit habits. Learn how to keep your credit score healthy with a quick lesson on credit scores & reports at 

2. Pay Your Bills On Time 

In today’s digital age, there are various mobile payment options available to help you to get ahead of your bills. Set up online banking and use automatic bill pay to save yourself the hassle of mailing checks, and protect against the costs of missing a deadline. Additionally, many retailers, banks, and credit unions allow you to pay your bills in real time via mobile payment technology. 

3. Protect Your Accounts 

With the prevalence of digital transactions, it’s important to protect yourself from consumer fraud and identity theft. In fact, nearly 3 million consumers reported fraud in 2017 alone. Regularly checking your credit score (see #1) for errors and unauthorized transactions is one simple strategy to protect your identity. Make it a priority to refresh the tactics you use to keep your identity safe this spring.  

4. Save for a Rainy Day 

Rainy day funds protect against more than just the weather. Did you know that 78% of Americans do not have enough savings to cover unforeseen expenses? Saving doesn’t have to be hard, although it does take discipline. Small adjustments in your daily routine can make a big difference in your ability to cover emergency costs or meet a payment due date. In addition, many savings vehicles will pay you interest on the money you have deposited, which will help your money grow over time. Commit to creating new savings habits to help yourself be better. 

No matter where you start your financial Spring cleaning, incorporating these tips and tactics into your routine will give your personal finances a fresh start!

ABSOLUTELY! Security is always a concern. Especially in a world that sees a new case of identity theft every four seconds. Security can AND SHOULD be a concern for debit card users, considering a thief can empty a person’s bank account in a matter of hours.

Most debit cards do come with a zero liability policy to protect account owners in case of fraud or theft, but it is important for you to be aware that the process to return the funds can take days, and sometimes even weeks.

So Credit Cards Have Better Protection?

Although both debit and credit cards offer some sort of protection to their users, credit cards are the clear winner in this area. If you see a charge on your credit card statement you don’t recognize, you can dispute the charge and, after a brief investigation, see your money returned to your account. This is a perk of using credit.

It is important to realize that you can reap the benefits of both debit and credit cards by using each strategically — such as only using credit cards to earn rewards points on big purchases, then immediately paying off the balance. It is also important to remember that what works for you, might not work for me. Everyone is different and you have to find your fit!

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