It is mid-May, which means many of us are going through our closets, deep cleaning our homes, and getting rid of stuff we just don’t need anymore. It feels good to go through spring cleaning each year. These actions help you clear out things that are holding you back. You can do something similar with your money. Here are some ways to “spring clean” your finances.
7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances
Spring cleaning your finances, in some ways, looks just like cleaning out your home. You have to literally get rid of things in your budget, clean out closets and sell things, and reassess what you are doing in terms of managing your money. Here are seven things you should do this spring to evaluate your finances.
- Sweep out bad money habits. We all have bad habits that are hanging out in the corners like dust bunnies. Examine your spending habits and determine what is detrimental to your financial goals. For example, a lot of people have a bad habit of eating out when there is food at home. Identify what is holding you back and get rid of it.
- Catch up on any late payments and get ahead if you can. The spring is a great time to hold a yard sale, raise some extra money, and pay off debt or pay bills you need to get current. Get caught up on anything you’ve fallen behind on and try to get ahead where you can. This will save you money in the long run.
- Toss out any debt you may have. Staying in debt is almost like holding onto an old sweater that you never wear. It is holding you back and just taking up space where you could fit something better. Get rid of it as soon as you possibly can.
- Dust off your budget. Take a hard look at your budget and decide if it is truly working for you. Many people don’t think about creating space in their budget for things that truly matter to them. For instance, if travel is something that is important to you, be sure you make room in your budget to do it.
- Create a simple money system to track key numbers. Most people just aren’t paying enough attention to their money. Usually, this is because they make it difficult for themselves to do so. Find a way to tidy up your finances and make it easier to track things like what you are spending, how much you are saving, and debt payments.
- Plan and budget for irregular expenses through the end of the year. The end of the year brings a lot of irregular spending for many families, including holiday spending, travel, and back-to-school costs. Make a plan for how you’ll deal with these expenses.
- Clear out your paperwork. Old, unnecessary clutter, like paperwork, can be a hindrance to your finances. Instead of keeping everything in an old-fashioned filing cabinet, consider how you can start keeping track of things digitally and get rid of that stack of papers. It will help you keep closer track of your finances too.
How Often Should You Review Your Attitude Towards Money?
Annual reviews or taking a moment to spring clean your finances each year is always a good idea. However, the frequency in which you review your attitude towards money may change with time. You may find that a quarterly review is more necessary for you, especially if you have aggressive debt payoff goals. Others may find it easier to do a quick check-in every month. In the end, it is important to find exactly what works for you in terms of reviewing and organizing your money.
Readers, do you have any annual “to-do” items for spring cleaning your finances?
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.