It’s not uncommon to accumulate things over the years when you don’t

take time to straighten them out periodically. This applies to our

finances as well as our possessions. If you feel it’s time to straighten out

your finances, consider these steps:


-Make a list of all your assets and debts. List each one individually,

so you have a sense of how many different accounts you have.


-Go through each one of your investments. Make sure you under-

stand why you own each one. Are you really adding diversification

to your portfolio? Assess the prospects of each investment and decide

whether you should continue to own it.


-Look for ways to consolidate accounts. Try to get down to one bank

account, one brokerage account, and one IRA. This can significantly

reduce the time needed to review and reconcile accounts.


-Assess your outstanding debts. Do you really need all those credit

cards? Consider keeping only one or two cards, so it’ll be easier to

monitor balances. Look for ways to reduce the cost of your borrowing. Is

 it time to take another look at refinancing your mortgage?