Spring clean your personal finances with these quick tips
Spring is quickly approaching! Besides the occasional spring showers and seasonal allergies, this is the time of year when people enjoy the warm weather with a weekend drive, picnics with the family and just spending time outdoors. Using the spring season, March through May, as a time to assess your spending habits, evaluate your personal budget, manage monthly bills and focus on the progress of your financial plan, are some proactive things you can do to make money work for you. Check out these quick tips on how to spring clean your personal finances this season.
Sweep out old spending habits
Springtime is the perfect time to get rid of things that no longer serve you, and your bad spending habits are no exception. Take this time to examine your spending and determine bad habits that are detrimental to your year-end financial goals. While looking over your spending habits, you will likely find patterns that indicate how you spend your money, both good and bad. It is a great time to target the ones you want to change.
Dust off your budget
If you have not been following a budget lately, then now is a great time to work on creating one or making some refinements to your budget so that it mirrors any changes in your life. Having a budget and ensuring that you abide by it is one of the best tools you have for finance tracking and reaching your major financial milestones – from paying off debt to saving up for a down payment on a house. When you budget consistently, it becomes much easier to reach your financial goals. It also helps eliminate unnecessary financial stress. Take the time to write out a new budget for each month, and then track your spending throughout the month.
Toss out your debt
Staying in debt is almost like holding onto a holey sweater you haven’t worn in five years. It is just holding you back and taking up extra room in life. That’s why you should set up a debt payment plan ASAP and kick your debt to the curb. Listing your debts smallest to largest and paying off smaller debts first will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to want to tackle the larger ones. Depending on your personal budget, you may not be able to pay everything off this spring. When you set up and follow a plan you are taking the first steps to make lasting changes to improving your financial situation.
Clear the clutter
Just as spring is a good time to clean out your closets and de-clutter your home, it’s also a great time to go through your personal finances and toss out the things that are no longer beneficial to your life. Do you have any reoccurring payments to subscriptions or memberships that aren’t being used? Assess those expenses honestly and clear all the financial clutter that’s in the way of you achieving your finance goals.
Clean up bad credit
Fixing bad credit is about getting back on track by paying bills on time, budgeting and using credit wisely. At the first sign of a late or missed payment, inform creditors of your present situation and how you plan to resolve your financial problems. If you have a good payment history, you may be able to negotiate your next payment. You should also use this time to get a copy of your credit report with one of the three nationwide credit bureau companies. If you notice any inaccuracies on your credit reports, you can dispute the errors online or by mail, or directly with the creditor.
Decrease the plastic in your wallet
Limit the number of credit cards you own and carry – it’s that simple! If possible, use just one card. The fewer you have, the easier it is to remember your balance and keep track of total purchases. If you’re unsure which credit cards to cancel, carefully read your monthly statements to check out the annual fee, the interest rate you’ll pay and any charges for overdue payments or going over your credit limit. If you want to be truly bold you may want to eliminate credit cards all together and consider using a debit card. Debit cards have many of the same benefits of a credit card, without the interest expense or worries of adding debt to your personal finances.
Check your insurance liability limits
Are they high enough to adequately cover you and your loved ones in the event of a car accident? If you’ve simply renewed the same policy for many years, you might be underinsured. To explore some of the best insurance rates available and update your coverage, click here to compare car insurance quotes the smart way with Answer Financial.
Spring-sweeping of financial clutter and bad habits is a great way to usher in the new season. With the opportunity to adjust and fix anything in the way of you achieving your financial goals. Find ways to make good finance habits permanent and long-lasting. More than likely, you’ll see results of your spring finance cleaning efforts in the money saved in your personal budget along with time saved later in the year.
February 28, 2020