Do This One Thing to Set Yourself Up for Financial Success in 2017

When it comes to your finances, do you take a head-on or head-in-the-sand approach? If you identify with the latter, then the good news is, you're not alone. The bad news? You're not alone. New data suggests that when it comes to managing money, women are not as independent as you'd expect. In fact, 91% of women in couples are not participating in financial decisions. But we want to change that statistic. To help you become a master of your own finances, we're debuting a new series called The Paper Files, where we uncover tricks and tips that will help you manage your money and your future. Ready to take it head-on?

Spring heralds a clean-slate mentality, but when everyone else is busy decluttering their cupboards, color-coding their closet, and deep-cleaning their carpet, I take a different approach. Just a few months after the New Year, spring is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your finances, review how you're tracking toward your goals, and adjust your game plan. 

If the thought of sifting through receipts sounds as scintillating as cleaning your gutters, we hear you—thankfully, there is a way to minimize your time and maximize the rewards. Each year, I set aside an afternoon to do a three-hour "deep clean" of my finances. Not only does it make me feel more in control of my money, but it also reduces tax time stress and gives me a new burst of much-needed motivation to keep tracking toward my goals.

Start the timer—Here's how to spring-clean your finances in three hours flat. 

Ready to give your home the same spring-cleaning treatment? Follow this step-by-step guide to clean your home in a weekend.