Posted by Anna Traugh on March 21, 2023
Why is that spring feels like such a perfect time of year to tackle messes and get organized? Cultures all over the world have practiced the tradition of spring cleaning for centuries.
A Smithsonian exhibit on the history of housecleaning included this diary entry from 1864: "Swept and dusted sitting-room & kitchen 350 times. Filled lamps 362 times. Swept and dusted chamber & stairs 40 times." Drudgery journals, such as this one of women's rights activist and abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, detail housekeeping rituals and shed light on why the biggest housecleaning of the year traditionally happened in spring.
Because homes used to be lit with whale oil or kerosene and heated with wood or coal, the winter months left a layer of soot and grime in every room. With the arrival of spring weather came the opportunity to throw open windows and doors, and take rugs and bedding outside to beat dust out of them and start scrubbing floors and windows until sparkling.
Here are three things you can do this spring to tidy up your finances:
Have you been storing statements for years and years?
Here is a handy list of how long you should keep records of various financial related documents. We’re happy to shred any documents that you’d like to securely dispose of if you want to bring them to your next meeting.
Are there any statements you’re receiving in the mail that can be switched to email delivery?
Are there any paid subscriptions you’re no longer using (or even forgot about) and can end?
Are there any bills that you can set up for automatic payments?
I always look for opportunities to link my credit card to earn the points/rewards. Just be careful that the company or service doesn’t charge extra for using a credit card versus bank account.
Are there any monthly bills you’re paying that can be paid on an annual basis?
For example, insurance carriers often allow you to save a little on your premium if you pay in an annual or even semi-annual installments.
Although you may have some concerns regarding the recent news from the banking industry, did you know you may be entitled to up to $1,000,000 in FDIC insurance at a single bank (or NCUA insurance for credit unions)? Depositors are covered up to $250,000 per account registration. Therefore, a couple can each have their own individual accounts and share a joint account totaling $1,000,000 in insured deposits at one institution. Just don’t forget to update any recurring bill payments.
Happy Spring Cleaning!