After the exceptionally long winter this year, it’s finally safe to say that spring is here to stay – at least for now. Whether it’s getting dirt under your fingernails out in your backyard, playing a round of golf, or even just sitting outside a café, the warmer season just makes everything seem inviting.
But before you roll up your sleeves to acknowledge the pleasant warmth of the sun, you need to first reevaluate your financial priorities for the rest of the year. A lot may have changed over the past few months, and some seasonal touch-ups here and there will do you good.
Gather Everything in One Neat Pile
Are you aware of the statuses of each and every credit card you’ve ever owned? Do you know where your tax returns are from two years ago? You can’t manage anything you don’t have all the information for; it’s as simple as that. That’s why it’s important to manage your finances once you have a complete overview of all your assets and liabilities in one place.
Gather together pay stubs, bills, loans, credit cards all into one neat pile. I’m not talking about a literal stack of paper (although it can be). It can be an excel spreadsheet, a drawer in your desk, or even a color coded filing cabinet. Wherever you decide to store it, the point is to stay completely organized.
Write Everything Down
Make sure to keep a record of everything. Keep track of all your expenses; some may be deductible for tax purposes. It is also important to make sure you are keeping track of all your sources of income so you pay the IRS the right amount in income tax. Being tax code savvy is crucial, as long winded and convoluted as it may seem. Some sources of income are less conspicuous than others, and sometimes you are not required to report it to the IRS. For example, did you know that if you rent out your apartment/home for 14 days or less you do not have to report it? This type of supplemental income has become more popular with services such as Airbnb. These kinds of intricacies in the tax code necessitate thorough records. I don’t think I’m over-generalizing when I say that no one wants to deal with an IRS audit.
Evaluate your financial situation. Have you been straying from your budget goals? Are there costs you can reduce? Can you afford to spend more? If you are doing better financially you should look into refinancing any outstanding loans you may have. You could save substantial sums by shopping around with a loan aggregator and refinancing your loans for a lower interest rate. Using Achieve Lending’s loan search engine will help you find multiple offers for easy comparison with zero hassle in just a few clicks.
What we routinely promote at Achieve Lending is fiscal responsibility. In doing so, we believe in going the extra mile by offering the right knowledge and tools to individuals that need it.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to roll up those sleeves and finesse your finances with some good old spring cleaning. You’ll thank yourself come summer when your finances are neater than your kitchen counter.
About the Author
Allen Kors is the Founder and CEO of Achieve Lending, the first ever search engine for education loans. Designed to help both traditional and non-traditional students find the best student loans, Achieve Lending offers users a free online portal to search, find, and compare student loans, often in as little as 30 seconds.
Kors founded Achieve Lending at just 27 years old after six years of working in the finance industry. His resume boasts time spent at the world’s premier financial firms, with positions in investment banking, private equity, angel investing, and consulting. After leaving his job in angel investing to pursue entrepreneurship and form his own financial technology company, Kors now aims to build the ‘Kayak’ for education loans and empower Achieve Lending users by providing financial education on the loan process and terminology.