The holidays have come and gone, and we’re seeing longer days and shorter nights. And it’s just a matter of time before the winds calm and summer is in full swing! It’s a perfect time of the year to get your affairs in order so you can enjoy the warm weather ahead.
Household Tasks - Inside and Out
Springtime is when many feel the need to wipe the slate clean with some housework. An organized plan, created by Good Housekeeping, shows you how to get the gloves on and get the work done as painlessly as possible - all within a 30-day window. Some highlights:
- Clean your cleaners: your vacuum, dishwasher, washing machine and other handy appliances are only as good as they are clean and operating properly. Replace bags or dust cups in the vacuum, and inspect and disinfect your washing machine and dishwasher.
- Get rid of unnecessary items: Magazines and catalogs, old makeup, and other items only add to the clutter. Recycle and donate when you can, or visit eBay and see if your clutter is worth cash if an item’s value is in question.
For property owners, maintenance extends outside the home as well. HGTV gathered some great tips from a professional with the American Society of Home Inspectors:
- Examine rain gutters, chimneys, roof shingles and exterior trim to see if any damage was caused during the winter. A quick check now means that spring rains and wind will not create additional problems that cost a lot of money.
- Check concrete, outside faucets and irrigation systems for freeze damage, along with hoses and outdoor tools, such as lawnmowers.
- Consider the best ways to save money on utilities. New Mexico basks in 310 days of sunshine annually, so why not think about taking advantage of the tax breaks and lower environmental impact that comes with solar energy systems? One of our preferred merchant partners, SunPower by Positive Energy Solar, was recently ranked second in the nation for their quality installation, products, and customer service. Nusenda Credit Union partners with almost every solar company in New Mexico to create solutions that help meet your budget, as well as loans for energy-efficient products, such as central air units, air source heat pumps, furnaces, roofing systems, and more. Click here for information on loans and our preferred merchant partners.
Clean Up Your Finances
Spring time is also a great time to think about cleaning up your financial affairs. The National Credit Union Association has some great “Financial Spring Cleaning Tips.” Some suggestions:
- Review your credit report for errors and potential fraud: By law, everybody is entitled to one free credit report yearly from each of the three major credit bureaus.
- Shred and store: Keep your tax paperwork (and any supporting documents) for six years, as the IRS can audit your filings. Just be sure to shred them properly, and change your passwords frequently.
- Review and simplify: It’s a great time to review your spending habits to see where your money is going. Our Money Manager feature is a one-stop shop for organizing your finances. We also have face-to-face and online workshops, plus Financial Calculators and automatic bill pay to help you plan your money goals now – and for the future.
- Plan ahead: Finally, start capitalizing on deductions that will save you money when you file your taxes next year. Note any possible deductions and keep any necessary paperwork, like receipts, medical bills, and business reports in a safe place.
Getting your house and personal affairs in order may seem like a daunting task, but with some advance planning, discipline and savvy thinking, you’ll be ready for the summer adventures that await!