Frugal Friday: Spring Cleaning for your finances


Spring is all about fresh starts. And while your paperwork, your checkbook, or your bills are out on the table to file your annual tax return, money experts say it's a great time to tidy up your finances.
  • Start with those taxes. After you've filed your paperwork on time, take a look at the bottom line. If you're getting a huge refund, or find yourself paying Uncle Sam a big chunk, Bankrate suggests adjusting your withholding with your employer to avoid underpaying or overpaying from each paycheck. Your withholding can actually be adjusted at any point throughout the year.
  • If you've got documents leftover from old tax filings or any other items with sensitive financial information that you're ready to scrap, don't just toss them out. Shred them. The Better Business Bureau recommends shredding anything that has a social security number, birth date, pin number, or password.
  • If you're one of the millions of Americans paring down credit card debt, it may be time for a balance transfer to a card with lower -- or zero -- interest. If you've got good credit, look for an offer that will let you roll over a balance to another card, and pay less interest each month.
  • Think about consolidating multiple bank accounts and streamlining with online statements and bill paying.
  • Create or update your will or trust. Also consider a living will or financial power of attorney. There are lots of computer programs and websites that can help with that like WillMaker or LegalZoom.
  • Get new quotes for car, home and life insurance policies and remember to update your beneficiaries if necessary.