Spring is a great time to take a fresh look at everything in your life. Obviously, spring cleaning is a popular task to undertake as winter begins to thaw, with many people taking the opportunity to throw away some old junk, give the house a good deep clean, and get things ready for the beautiful spring and summer months to come. However, your spring cleaning ritual doesn’t have to be limited to housework – you can apply this same line of thinking to your finances as well.
To spring clean your finances, please take a look at the following four ideas –
Drop Some Subscriptions
There will never be a better time than now to take a look at your monthly subscriptions to see if any can be reasonably cut out of your budget. Subscriptions are an easy way to spend extra money without realizing it, since these will normally just be deducted from your bank account each month automatically.
A gym membership (that isn’t being used) is a common example of a subscription that can be cut out, but you may be spending money on others as well. Look over your bank statement and think carefully about getting rid of anything that you don’t feel is providing you with appropriate value. You can easily identify such memberships if you track your spending. If tracking your spending seems overwhelming or difficult to do, check out the free tool at Personal Capital that makes it easy to manage.
Cut Back on Meals Out
Eating out in restaurants is a quick way to blow through your monthly food budget. It is dramatically cheaper to cook food at home for you and your family – and it is usually healthier, as well. Do a good job of weekly grocery shopping to save money, and reserve the odd meal out for a special occasion. While this might seem like quite a bit of extra work at first, there is a good chance you will wind up enjoying the process of preparing your own food.
Renewed Savings Effort
While you are looking at your bank statement in an effort to find savings, it would also be a good idea to think about saving a little bit more each month. As a habit, move a set amount of money from your checking account into your savings account each time you get paid, and try your best to leave that money alone.
This will not only help you build a nest egg for the future, but it will also help you to be better about managing the money that is left in your checking for use each month. You can also set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself. I know interest rates are terrible but there are some options available online. The best rates I’ve found are with Discover Bank which currently pay out .95% on savings account balances.
Make More Money!
The easiest way to balance out your budget each month is simply to make extra money. Take some time to think about various avenues that you could pursue in an effort to boost your income – whether that means making more money at your current job, finding a new job, getting a part-time side job, starting a side hustle or any other option you can find. There will always be expenses in life, so maximizing your earnings is going to be the best way to meet your financial obligations while still having something left over to save.
Do you spring clean your finances? What does spring cleaning entail for you? What is one expense you’d like to cut but have challenges doing so?
Photo courtesy of: PublicDomainPictures
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