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Give your finances a spring cleaning

About half of Americans between ages 25 and 54 regularly worry about money.* We want you to be in the half that doesn't. Here are a few tips for refreshing your finances.

Share the responsibility
Get all family members involved, including older children; everyone should understand why changes may be needed.

Pay off debt
Are you getting a tax refund? Use it to reduce your debts, particularly credit cards.

Clean out your files
Keep your tax records for seven years and pay stubs for one year. Check your credit card statements for accuracy, then shred them when the next one arrives. (Unless they show tax-related purchases, then keep for seven years.) And sign up for E-Statements so you don't have to think about paper account statements.

Fix the leaks
Stop letting money flow out needlessly; for example, paying for a storage unit full of junk you'll never use, or compare streaming services to your cable or satellite TV costs.

Scrutinize the fine print
Check the tiny type on your loan documents and credit card disclosures to be sure you don't trip any triggers for hidden fees.

Take a close look at your insurance
You may be able to adjust your insurance to lower your premiums as your children mature and move out.

The most important step you can take is to get expert help. Contact BALANCE, our free and confidential financial counseling service, for assistance with budgeting, debt management, avoiding credit problems and more.

*LearnVest/Chase Face of Personal Finance Study

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