Declutter Your Finances: The Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Financial Life

  • By Jason Cohen, CFP®
  • March 2024

Declutter Your Finances: The Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Financial Life

As winter gives way to spring, now is an ideal moment for rejuvenation, order, and new beginnings. Just like tidying up your home, you can also take the time to freshen up your finances with professional financial planning.

In this article, I share six valuable tips I’ve acquired over the past 15 years to streamline financial chaos and simplify the financial planning process. These practical steps can help you declutter your financial landscape and plant seeds to cultivate sound financial habits.

Consider this your guide to financial spring cleaning. Let’s dive in and get started!

1. Organize Your Paperwork

The first step to unraveling your finances is simplifying your paperwork. Even though we’re increasingly living in an exclusively digital world, there are still times we need actual physical documents.

Start your organization process by finding a single container where you can store your paperwork. It could be a binder, a locked filing cabinet, or a fireproof safe. 

Now divide your paperwork into three piles: bills, statements, and old documents you can toss (i.e., shred!). Gather everything together and place it in a single, easily accessible place.

Organizing your paperwork not only helps you but also benefits anyone who may need to access your financial profile. To make it even more efficient, create a master directory (paper or digital) that lists all your financial details. Make sure you keep this document password-protected or under lock and key, and don’t forget to include account numbers and logins. 

2. Shred It

Shredding old paperwork is crucial for protecting your identity. Don’t just throw it away—shred it!

While you’re organizing your paperwork for storage (step #1), destroy any documents you no longer need: save bills until the payment has been received; keep seven years of tax documents; and hold on to one year of investment records (as long as you don’t require them for warranty or tax purposes). 

Don’t forget to shred any documents you still have that are connected to a house or car you’ve sold. It’s time to move on. Since so much of our data is digitized and readily available online, we can stop carrying around stacks of paper records.  

3. Go Green

Save a tree and clear up clutter at the same time!

Enroll in paperless document delivery for all your bills and financial services to reduce the amount of paper that accumulates on your counters. 

One of the better ways to keep track of all the usernames and passwords needed for online accounts is by using a password management tool. There are lots of choices these days and it’s a smart way to access all your account details in one place.

4. Automate Everything

In addition to simplifying and organizing your life, automating your savings and bills provides long-term advantages for financial planning. Setting up automated bill payment helps you prepare your income taxes, create a simpler budget, and potentially raise your credit score. 

Here’s another advantage: by automating your savings, you’re giving yourself a chance to save before you even touch the money.

5. Confront Your Debt

One of the better steps to untangling your financial life is to pay off debt. Paying off debt is one of the fundamental cornerstones of sound financial planning.

When you’re paying 10–30% interest on credit cards or loans, you’re reducing the amount of money you have available to work toward your financial goals. Make it your mission to pay off as much debt as you can, save money on interest, and combine whatever accounts you can.

Start by paying off debt that has a higher interest rate than your other debts. Or, to gain confidence and momentum at the beginning of your debt-free crusade, pay off the loan with the smallest balance first, regardless of the interest rate. 

6. Seek Professional Advice

Now that you have an organized version of your financial life, it’s time to take advantage of professional financial planning.

A financial advisor can help you find ways to address your finances and pursue your goals. If you’re not already familiar with the benefits of financial planning, meet with an advisor to create a plan that’s customized to align your financial goals with your available assets.

Take the Next Step

Are you ready to enjoy the ease and satisfaction of having your finances in order?

At Wealth Advocate Group, we’re fully committed to assisting you in growing, managing, and safeguarding your wealth. Our goal is to streamline the complexities of your financial journey, allowing you to concentrate on your true priorities.

To get started today, feel free to contact me at 440-505-5751 or email to schedule an appointment.

About Jason

Jason Cohen is Chief Operating Officer and wealth advisor at Wealth Advocate Group, LLC, an independent, fee-based wealth management company. Jason has 15 years of experience and spends his days managing firm operations, including portfolio trading and analysis, training of new advisors, financial plan production, and client relationship management. Jason specializes in serving real estate professionals and other independent contractor business owners, helping them navigate their unique financial challenges, such as unpredictable cash flow and tax issues, so they can pursue financial independence. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in public management from Indiana University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and believes that everyone should have access to comprehensive financial planning. He is passionate about doing his best for his clients and setting others up for success. Outside of the office, you can find Jason staying active in a variety of sports and spending time with friends and family. Learn more about Jason by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.