Spring is in the air, and nothing says start fresh quite like the age-old annual rite of Spring known as spring cleaning. With a recent poll showing that over two-thirds of Americans engage in some form of this traditional welcoming of the warmer months, it’s highly likely that you have somethings on your list that include some heavy duty scrubbing or sorting. Washing windows and cleaning gutters may not be glamorous tasks, but they go along way in keeping your home maintained and clean for years to come.
And while the majority of Americans aren’t scared to get down and dirty with their indoor/outdoor cleaning chores, not nearly as many people are willing to tackle another obstacle: cleaning up their finances. There are plenty of online, DIY guides to help you get your house in order, there aren’t as many words of wisdom readily available to help you straighten up your financials. Now that tax season is wrapping up, let’s take a peek at some ideas that can help you get your money right and clean up the financial mess you’ve accumulated!
Trying to decide where to start when you begin what might seem like a Herculean effort can be daunting to say the least. So first things first, let’s start out with what should be the bedrock for your financial planning platform: your budget. Fixed expenses come first, like student loans, vehicle payments or your rent/mortgage. Then think about week to week expenditures like grocery money and filling your gas tank up. You may find that you could be saving even more money than you already are, or begin a savings account period if you don’t already have one.
Debt is one of the most stressful things on most Americans minds, and figuring out a way to overcome debt is crucial to not just financial happiness, but overall general happiness as well. Take a look at your credit card statements and see just how much the interest rates are eating away at your monthly payment structure. Here is where debt consolidation can be a real lifesaver. Higher interest rate credit cards can be consolidated under a balance transfer with a financial institution that offers a competitive lower interest rate loan option. Depending on your total debt, this could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest fees this year.
One last thing: take a look at your bank and credit card statements to see if there are any unwanted or long forgotten subscriptions that you may no longer need. Signed up for that free trial at the gym then casually quit going after two weeks……9 months ago?!? Maybe you’re still getting charged equipment rental fees for satellite tv equipment you no longer have. A lot of things can slip by your radar if you don’t keep a watchful eye on your incoming and outgoing financial flow.
Apply some of your spring cleaning energies to shaking the dust off of your finances and you’ll see a difference in your financial situation that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s worth the time and the effort to save yourself and your family money that you may not have even known you were spending!