We are nearing the end of the Spring Clean your Life Series. I hope you have benefited from it. If you haven’t it’s NEVER too late to start. Even if it’s fall you can do some Fall Financial Cleaning. Today we are going to talk about practical ways to Spring Clean your Finances. Sounds fun, right??
I have to be honest, I like to live in denial in this area of my life for various reasons, but living intentionally is not burying our head under the sand.
Here are some practical ways to do some financial spring cleaning:
- What are your current balances on your checking and savings accounts? I know, I know this part is only fun if the money is flowing. Bite the bullet and write it on paper.
- What are the bills you are paying every month? Add it up so you can see it in black and white.
- Fill out this Bill Pay worksheet so you can keep track of what you are paying every month. This keeps you from just winging it, forgetting something and paying a late fee.
- What are the balances on your credit cards? Monthly payment? Interest rate? Write it down so you know exactly what you owe. Don’t get depressed! Awareness is half the battle.
- Read a book on finances. Here is a couple I would recommend (Affiliate Links) Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace.
- Eliminate one recurring payment. It’s so easy to pay $7.99 for Microsoft Office, $14.99 for Spotify, then $12.99 Netflix. If you are a blogger it’s even easier to rack up those monthly payments. Write down each recurring payment you make and then evaluate if you really need all of them. Cut one out.
- Unsubscribe from the deal emails you get daily tempting you to buy those cheap __________. I just ran across this site Unroll.me that finds all your email subscriptions and helps you unsubscribe easily.
- Learn to say no! When tempted with that purchase, put it in your cart and wait. Then if you remember to go back evaluate whether you really want or need it.
- If you don’t LOVE something don’t buy it. Even if it’s 1.99. You won’t wear it or use it if you don’t love it. Or you’ll settle and wear and be grumpy all day because you don’t love it.
- Check your credit report. ( I know, that sounds like going to the dentist, right? Remember awareness is half the battle.
- Create a system for your receipts. If you are saving paper receipts create a file folder to throw them in. If you save them digitally, create a folder and put all your online receipts in. You could also scan or take a picture and email it to yourself to save them all digitally.
- Keep track of where every deposit is coming from. OK, I know that sounds incredibly anal and I am anything but anal, but we were audited last year and we had to account for EVERY SINGLE deposit that went into our checking account for 2 solid years. Yep, even that 15.10 deposit that happened on 5/4 what an incredible pain this was. Now I use Quicken and I download transactions I add a note explaining ever deposit made.
- Do you have extra stuff around the house? Sell it. Put it on eBay or have a garage sale or even put it on an online garage sale. Take control and make a few bucks.
- Set a financial goal. It’s never too late to set a goal. Set a goal to pay off the credit card with your lowest balance or to save x amount of dollars. Anything, just take action.
I hope you found a practical action step in regards to Spring Cleaning your Finances. I know it isn’t always fun to face reality but as Dr. Phil says, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.