28 February 2006

Spring Clean Your Finances

CNNMoney has a good reminder that your abode isn't the only thing that needs spring cleaning. Your finances could also use a good look-see.

Their five suggestions are:

* Shred paperwork you don't need. Bank/Credit Card statements after one year, paystubs other than your latest. Titles and CDs as soon as you get rid of the investment.

* Consolidate all your IRAs into one IRA so that you only need to track one set of investments.

* Consolidate savings accounts into one bank. Same reasons as consolidating IRAs.

* Close unnecessary credit cards. Keep any older than five years and one from two of the major issuers (Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover). I would suggest closing any store credit cards you don't use frequently as they could be fodder for identity theft.

* Close insurance gaps. Review insurance policies and wills to see if any life changes necessitate changes in coverage.

All good ideas that people put off for far too long (like cleaning out the garage). Take one weekend to clean the garage and one weekend to tackle your financial garage. If you need help, certified financial advisors can help. But, as always, make sure they have some sort of certification.

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