PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - Apr 2, 2013) - When you are washing the windows, getting rid of cobwebs and cleaning out the closets overflowing with coats, holiday decorations and sports equipment, take some time to tidy up your fiscal house. Spring is a perfect time to make sure all of your financial records are in order.
BMO Harris Bank shares financial cleaning tips guaranteed to put a spring in your step:
Take a fresh look at your budget - When was the last time you took a long and hard look at your budget? Are you saving enough for your children's education, your retirement? Are you spending too many discretionary dollars eating out each month when you could be saving that money for a summer vacation? Pay careful attention to "wants vs. needs." Spring is a perfect time to sit down with a financial professional and review your savings and investment goals.
Secure all sensitive and important documents - Items including home and car titles, Social Security cards and wills should be kept in a bank safety deposit box or fireproof locked box or in a vault at your home for safe keeping. Be sure to keep a list of those documents at home, and note where the safety deposit box resides, in case of an emergency.
Clear the clutter in your home office - Scan key documents and store them on your computer, or on a portable storage device which could be kept in your safety deposit box. Receive your bank statements and bills electronically.
Shred outdated financial records - While it is important to maintain records for a period of time, it is equally important to properly destroy those documents you no longer need. Bank statements and pay stubs should be destroyed after a year, but you should keep tax records for seven. Don't know what to keep and what to ditch? IRS Publication 552 is a great resource to provide you guidance. Be sure to securely shred documents that you decide to discard. http://www.irs.gov/publications/p552/ar02.html
"Regularly reviewing your financial situation is a necessary part of keeping your financial house in order," said Steve Johnson, BMO Harris Bank Arizona President. "Maintaining good records helps to make that process easier."
One final tip, when you find all that change from cleaning under your couch cushions -- don't spend it, put it in the bank. For more money-saving tips visit helpful steps.
About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and $542 billion in assets (as of Jan. 31, 2013).