Just as you would clean your house in the spring to air out the home, so too can you spring-clean your finances. Similar ideas work well in the finance's avenue, such as decluttering and selling, cleaning up and filing, setting up or checking progress on, reviewing, canceling, and automating your finances. Let's look at each one of these to see what spring-cleaning tips you can use this year.
Tip 1: Decluttering and Selling
Spring forward into the new season by getting rid of clutter. All those extra things that collect dust or the piles on a chair or exercise equipment need to go to those that need it more. As more people need used and inexpensive items, yours might find a new home and be appreciated. Sell your things on Facebook marketplace or donate to local charities.
Tip 2: Cleaning up and Filing
Even though we live in a digital world, there still are receipts, invoices, bank statements, and paper trails. Figure out which ones you need and sort them together. Scan others if you do not need the physical copy. File like-items together in categories in a filing cabinet or on your computer.
Tip 3: Setting up and/or Checking Progress on Financial Goals
Once you have an area that is clean of the clutter and papers, you can get to work on your financial goals. Where do you want to be one year, three years, and five years down the road? How long will it take to pay off your debts and start saving for retirement based on your income now? Look at your debts, savings, and investments and make the necessary adjustments. Start by setting small goals for the first month, three months, six months, and one year.
Tip 4: Reviewing the Budget
When you figure out how much debt you need to pay off each month and year, you can then set up a budget to see where you can cut back more. Maybe you found when you declutter that you had an extra room to rent to a friend. Or you enjoyed selling things on an online site so much that you figured making it into a part-time gig. These are all parts of reviewing a budget, whether it means increasing your income or cutting back on your excesses.
Tip 5: Canceling Unused Stuff
Why have double or triple the same things as others in the family? It is not often that each person will do the same action at the same time. Sharing is a way to save money and cancel or sell unused stuff. Libraries and used bookstores have inexpensive yet fun ways of staying entertained. Local events bring inexpensive entertainment. If you already have a cell phone, why have a landline? List all the subscriptions, streaming services, memberships, and cloud services you have in your family. Decide which ones can be canceled.
Tip 6: Automating Savings
Your employer might make deductions on your wages for 401k or health care. You can pretend to get less by creating automatic payments to a savings account as soon as your paycheck is deposited. The money is diverted automatically. By doing this, you are tricking your mind into thinking you have less, which makes you spend less too.
By doing these tips to spring-clean your finances, you might find you have more savings available to pay down debt and save for the future. You get a cleaner house, created actionable goals, smart budget-worthy finances, and received some savings. All the while enjoying some better weather and sunnier days ahead.
If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a free financial analysis.
Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs. You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.