Spring clean your finances

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - How do you plan to spend your tax refund?  Maybe take a family vacation or do some upgrades around the house?

Well, experts suggest another plan. Think of it like spring cleaning, a fresh start for your finances!

What better time than the present to get a fresh start on your finances and wipe the slate clean!

So how do you start?

Consumer Credit Counseling's Lisa Scrivner says the first step should be creating a budget.

"If you really don't know what's coming in the door and what's going out the door, then you really can't handle it," says Scrivner.

Scrivner also says as life changes, so should your budget.

"If you have children, if you buy a new car, if you want to save for a home, I mean all those things have to be taken into account."

Another tip is to pay off any unsecured debt.

"You are paying a lot of interest on that money, money that you could be using toward something else," Scrivner says.

Finally, Scrivner suggests stashing some money away in savings.

"You need tires, your hot water heater tank bursts at your home, you need a roof, all those things cost money and those are expenses that we don't plan for normally."

For folks who need help sorting out financial issues, local agencies like Consumer Credit Counseling offer many basic services for free.

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