How to Spring Clean Your Finances
The spring is a great time to make lasting changes to your financial future. Use this time to change your bad financial habits, and create a solid plan that will set you up for longterm financial success.
When you switch out your wardrobe and do your other cleaning, take the time to tackle your finances too. Here's how.
Sweep Out Old Spending Habits
The spring is a great time to get rid of things that no longer serve you, and your bad spending habits are no exception. Take this time to look over your spending and determine bad habits that are detrimental to your finances. For example, you always go shopping on Saturday or you eat out with friends on Thursday night.
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 one you want to change.
Dust Off Your Budget
If you have not been following a budget lately, then it is a great time to bring your budget back out and start working on it. Your budget is one of the best tools you have for reaching 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. The envelope system or financial software can make the entire process much easier. Also, keep in mind these budget fixes for common missteps.
Catch Up on Late Payments
Now is the time to catch up on all of your late payments. If you are behind on any payments or if you have a debt that you have stopped paying on, you need to work out a way to pay everything off.
It is a great time of year for a yard sale to raise some extra cash to help you do this. If you are trying to pay off old debts that you have not paid on in several months, you should try to save up a lump sum so that you can settle the debts with the companies all at once. A spending fast can also help you find extra money to put toward your late payments.
Toss Out Your Debt
Staying in debt like holding onto that holey sweater you have not 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 today and kick your debt to the curb. You may not be able to pay everything off this spring, but when you set up a plan you are taking the first steps to make lasting changes with your situation.
Create a plan that not only shows the order of paying off your debts but that indicates how you are going to find the extra money to do it. Your budget is a key part of making your debt payment plan work.
Plan for Your Future
In the spring, you plan and begin to plant your garden and yard for the next year. Similarly, you need to take the time to plan for your financial future, whether you are thinking about saving for retirement or early retirement, buying your first home, or reaching another major financial milestone.
A financial plan can help you reach these goals. Take the time to plant the seeds for your future by creating a plan with clear goals set on a timeline. You can adjust your plan as your life changes, but having one will make it easier to navigate those changes in the future.