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It's time to spring-clean your finances

Tax refund is a great way to clean up debts
cleaning
Posted at 7:21 AM, Apr 15, 2024

When spring arrives, many of us look to clean out the garage and perhaps a closet or two. Organizing expert Rose Lounsbury knows that well as she is in the business of helping people clear clutter from their lives.

"I found when people cleaned out their things, they suddenly felt lighter, and things felt easier, and that's why I started helping other people," she told us while helping a family organize their house.

A whopping 88% of families now spring clean every year, according to the American Cleaning Institute.

But in addition to clearing out packed spaces around your home, financial attorney Leslie Tayne says post-tax season can be ideal for cleaning house when it comes to your finances.

"If you're receiving a tax refund," she said, "take a look at what's happening financially. Where is the best use of that money?"

Simple steps you can take this spring

She says to look over what you need, primarily the debts you owe.

"Do you need an emergency fund, or do you need to pay down high-interest rate debt," she said. "Or even putting a down payment on a new car or appliance or something that has been challenging you in your day-to-day life. Now you have some money to do that."

Next, Tayne says to evaluate the debt you owe.

"Know why you have the debt," she said, "and decide whether to tackle high-interest debt or high balances first."

If your budget is due for an overhaul, Tayne suggests you and your family do a weekly budget check, tracking when bills are due and where the money is coming from.

"I don't just put events on my calendar," she said. "I put my bills in there, too, and how much money is being paid out and also what source is the money coming from."

So, just like Lounsbury helps families spring clean their attics and closets, spring cleaning your finances is really not tough.

That way you don't waste your money.

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