Title: Give Your Finances A Clean Sweep Word Count: 430 Summary: Any time of year can be the right t ime to get your home office organiz ed--and while you're at it, your fi nances, too. Here are some tips. Keywords: Give Your Finances A Clean Sweep Article Body: Any time of year can be the right t ime to get your home office organiz ed-and while you're at it, your fin ances, too. Here are some tips: • Take out the garbage. Start with your desktop-not your compute r, the real one. If your desk is co vered in paperwork, weed out what's important and store key documents in a central place. This could be a good time to dust off your credit report as well. If you are the vict im of identity theft, one of the fi rst places it can show up is on you r credit report. Even though new legislation entitle s you to one free report each year, it's estimated that only 10 percen t of consumers are taking advantage of it. According to Money magazine , 33 percent of those who did get a report found errors. To request a copy, visit annual cre ditreport.com or contact one of the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Exp erian or TransUnion. • Make everything within reac h. When organizing your office, it' s important to keep frequently used items close at hand. The same appl ies to your financial goals. Set go als you can reach. For example, sta rt your retirement fund by putting a set amount every month into an In dividual Retirement Account (IRA). • Have a backup plan for file s and finances. If you have importa nt documents stored on your compute r, back them up onto CDs once a mon th and store them in a fireproof sa fe. When it comes to financial back up, create an emergency fund of at least three months' salary. Also, u pdate your life insurance policy. N ewsweek recently stated that for a married couple with two children, i t is advisable to have life insuran ce protection that equals eight tim es your annual income. And while yo u're at it, make sure your will is current. • Shred it and forget it. If you don't have a paper shredder, ge t one. Shred old quarterly statemen ts on investments once you have the annual statements. Also, shredding anything you don't need that conta ins your Social Security number or birth date can be your first line o f defense against identity theft. • Make it automatic. One easy way to eliminate clutter may be to sign up for online banking and cut down on the need for paper stateme nts. Plus, you can set up monthly w ithdrawals from your checking accou nt that are deposited into an IRA-s tarting with as little as $25 a mon th. The guidance of a financial profess ional can often be helpful when mak ing changes such as these. For exam ple, the financial professionals at Primerica have created a guide tha t shows you how to take control of your financial life.