Money Matters: Spring cleaning your finances

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 4/03/2013 9:36 am
Spring cleaning your finances starts with purging the paper. 

"Take a look at your file cabinets. You probably have a lot of receipts in there you don't need. You probably have bank statements you no longer need. A lot of that stuff you can shred and do away with," Financial Analyst, Vera Gibbons said.

Gibbons advises to take advantage of digital tools.

"These days you can check your account right from your tablet. You can make a deposit right from your mobile phone," Gibbons said. 

“Rather than go with paper checks, just set it up with your online bank to pay your bills that way.”

Gibbons said technology can help with organization.

"I would also suggest you take advantage of some of the sites and apps that are out there to help you track your finances. Mint, Manilla and Pageonce are all highly recommended," Gibbons said. 

After that, uncover long ignored items that can be quite valuable.

"Savings bonds. We're sitting on $16 billion worth of savings bonds. These are bonds that have expired and are no longer earning interest. They're just sitting in your safe deposit box or your top drawer. If they're no earning interest cash them out. You'll want to go to www.treasurydirect.gov to see what they're worth and cash them out," Gibbons said.

Be aware of other buried treasures. 

"Households are sitting on an average of $300 worth of gift cards that they're not using or don't intend to use or they've forgotten about. Those are sitting around and you could trade them, sell them or swap them on a site like www.plasticjungle.com which is a site specifically designed for that," Gibbons said. 

Gibbons also suggests cleaning out the closet.

"You know the old rule if you haven't worn it in a couple years, you know, wrong size, wrong style, wrong color, you're probably not going to. Provided you itemize your returns you can actually get a deduction for this stuff, fair market value, if you donate it to charity," Gibbons said.

Gibbons also suggests cashing in gold jewelery, if it doesn't have sentimental value, to de-clutter and make some extra money. 



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