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Are your financial records in the best shape?

If you spring clean your home, why not your finances?

“Regularly reviewing your financial situation is a necessary part of keeping your financial house in order,” said Tim Massey, president of BMO Harris Bank Indiana. “Maintaining good records helps to make that process easier.”

BMO Harris Bank has over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.

Guaranteed to put a spring in your step, BMO Harris Bank shares financial cleaning tips:

1. 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.

2. 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 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.

3. 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.

4. Shred outdated financial records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? See tips from the Internal Revenue Service. Be sure to securely shred documents that you decide to discard.

Finally, when you find all that change from cleaning under your couch cushions – don’t spend it, put it in the bank.

From the Coach’s Corner, check out these business financial strategies:

Do You Know What Drives Your Profit? (There Are 4 Drivers) — For profits, entrepreneurs must learn how to manage their financials and performance, which are difficult tasks. Savvy business owners know who their ideal clients or customers are. Entrepreneurs realize financial benefits when their revenue from business exceeds their expenses and taxes.

Accounting / Finance – Why and How to Determine Your Break-Even Point — Uncertainty can kill hope in business. Best practices in management mean having the right information to alleviate uncertainty in business. For that you need the right tools. One important tool – know your break-even point (BEP). A BEP analysis should be an integral part of your financial planning.

For the Best Cash Flow, Manage Your Inventory Costs with 8 Tips — With proper inventory management, you can lower your expenses and increase your cash flow. For many businesses, that means taking a look at your inventory costs. When your products aren’t selling, obviously, it hurts. Products just lurking and collecting dust in your warehouse are costing you money.

Cutting Costs: 9 Best Practices to Avoid Making Reactionary Decisions — It’s important not to be emotional when facing difficult decisions. To avoid making fearful — reactionary decisions — here are nine best practices.

8 Strategies When Sales Drop and Costs Cut into Your Profits — If your sales are down and costs are hurting your profits, you’re certainly not alone. This is still not a good economy for many sectors. The irony is you can do something about it.

“If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right!”
-William Shatner


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.