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Cleaning Up Finances While At Home For Social Distancing

Cypress Wealth Services

May 2020

Most Americans have recently found themselves with an abundance of extra time on their hands. While commuting, traveling, eating out, and socializing are on hold, how will you fill this extra time? Well, we have an idea. Why not take this opportunity to finally get your finances in order? Although decluttering and organizing might not be your favorite hobby, having a good understanding of your finances will relieve some stress during this time because you’ll see where you can improve and what should stay the same.

Here are a few ways to make the most of your extra time at home, while also bringing clarity to your financial situation (including where all your important information is being stored).

Consolidate Financial Clutter and Documents

This can seem like a daunting task, but think of how you’ll feel when it’s all done! Shredding old bank statements, pay stubs, and anything that has your personal information on it from more than 2 months ago is a great place to start. This decreases the risk of identity theft, frees up extra space, and allows you to find important documents much faster. The majority of banks, credit unions, and employers keep a digital file of all these statements should you need them for any reason.

Paper documents related to investments, home improvements, and taxes should be kept for seven years. Use the following link to find more details on what records to keep and for how long (*1).

Check Your Credit

Did you know that the federal government allows you to get a free credit report once per year? You can request yours at or by calling 1-877-322-8228 (*2). Unlike some free credit reporting options, these are accurate records of your credit from three national credit bureaus. Whether you have great credit or you’re a little nervous to check your score, the important thing is that you are staying informed.

It’s important to take advantage of this even if you know the exact balance and interest rate from every creditor you pay. Doing all your banking, shopping, vacation bookings, and investments online are great for convenience, but having that personal information transmitted through the internet means you’re more susceptible to cyberattacks and identity theft. As a result, there is a higher chance that someone could obtain that information and start using your credit without you being aware of it.

Review Your Interest Rates and Create a Budget

If you call your creditor to see if there is anything they can do to lower your interest rates for credit card payments, many times they will. Depending on your credit, consider consolidating to a 0% interest rate credit card and transfer the balance so you can pay off the debt faster. Also, look at refinancing any vehicle loan you have to pay off the debt faster or decrease the minimum payment so you can put more toward savings for emergencies.

If you haven’t used a budget before, a few easy-to-use budgeting apps to choose from are Mint, PocketGaurd, GoodBudget (multiple users can access the same account), and YNAB or EveryDollar for zero-based budgeting. Some of these are free or have options to upgrade to a version that enables your banking to be automatically synced with the app. This way your expenses are imported into the app, allowing you to quickly assign expenses to all your budget categories without manually importing anything.

Finish Your Cleanup

It always feels satisfying after the hard work of cleaning and organizing is done. And now that you know where things are when you need them, you’ll experience added peace of mind—at the perfect time. We know you’ve got a lot on your mind right now, so to make sure you haven’t missed anything, allow Cypress Wealth Services to conduct a financial checkup. Getting to know you, identifying a financial goal you’d like to achieve, and seeing the whole picture of what’s important to you is the best way to create an action plan and make it a reality. To start the conversation, call our office today at 866.888.6563. We look forward to hearing from you.


About Cypress Wealth Services

Cypress Wealth Services is an independent RIA firm providing financial planning and investment management to high net worth individuals, families, business owners, and institutions. Cypress Wealth Services comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience and qualifications. Cypress Wealth Services is uniquely qualified to serve a broad range of client needs, and their experience and expertise act as a foundation for their client service process. The firm uses The Second Growth, which focuses on efficiently protecting, growing, and transferring to their loved ones the wealth and legacy a person has already built. With offices in Palm Desert, CA, Tustin, CA, and Anchorage, AK, the firm serves clients across the country in Wealth Management Services, Fiduciary Services, 401(k) Design and Management, Investment Reporting Services, Financial and Retirement Planning, and more. For more information, visit or call 760.834.7250.