Monday, 8 May 2017

Spring Clean Your Finances

By Miriam Caldwell
Updated March 25, 2016
One of the things I love about spring is that it is a great time to clean up your financial situation. You can change your bad financial habits, and create a solid plan that will let you make lasting changes. In the spring everything seems fresh and new, and your routine changes, as it stays light later. When you switch out your wardrobe and do your other cleaning, take the time to tackle your finances too. If you have any of these signs, then you need to start changing your finances today. 

1  Sweep Out Spending Habits

Katherin Ziegler/Taxi/Getty Images
The spring is a great time to try to make changes in your routine, which in turn can help you change your spending habits. A lot of spending happens because of your routine. You always go shopping on Saturday or you eat out with friends on Thursday night. If you look over your spending habits, you should be able to find patterns that indicate habits about how you spend your money. It is a great time to target a habit you want to change.  More 

2  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 the best tool you have for tackling your financial difficulties. It lets you plan how you want to spend your money, and it allows you track your spending habits. When you budget consistently and stay on budget, you can start making things happen so that you reach your financial goals. 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.You can consider these budget fixes for common budgeting problems.  More 

3  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 catch up on the payments you are behind on. 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 help you find extra money to put toward your late payments.   More 

4  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. Set up a debt payment plan today and kick your debt to the curb. You will likely 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. More 

5  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 future, whether you are thinking about early retirement, or just need to start contributing to your retirement accounts, take the time to make sure you are on track to reach your goals. A financial plan can help you get ready for retirement, buying your first home and starting a family (if you want one). 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. You plan can help you stop lying about your finances and take care of your financial future.