Now that spring is here, I read a great article in Kiplinger Finance that I wanted to share.

Take some time this spring to get your money matters in order by following these tips:

1. Toss unnecessary documents-Do this every year after you file your tax return. Click here to see what you should toss and what you should save.

2. Freshen up your insurance coverage.-If you're looking to cut costs, increase the deductibles on your car and homeowners policies. Ask your insurance agent about an umbrella policy.

3. Tidy up your credit report.-Once a year, you can request a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you are planning on purchasing a home, it's important to check that your credit report is accurate and up to date. Errors on a credit report can hurt your ability to borrow money or get new credit.

4. Clean out your portfolio -Take a look at your investments. It may be time to sell some investments and purchase new ones. Evaluate your holdings. Don't forget to add to your IRA each year.

5. Plug leaks in your budget - When was the last time you tracked your expenses? Try using a budget worksheet to see how much you spend per month. It's the little charges that add up each month.

The above tips are something we should all do every year, especially if you are planning to buy a home.

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Masha Halpern has been an agent in Chapel Hill since 1992. Contact Masha at Masha@MashaHalpern.com or toll free at (877)478-4669 for all your real estate needs.