How To Spring Clean Your Finances
Spring is here! Well, with a bit of snow. Nonetheless, it is here! It is time to clean out the old and let in the new, and this includes your finances! Spring is the perfect time to spring clean the bad money habits you may have formed during the winter months. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't impossible to change your habits. Here are five ways to spring clean your finances:
1. Stop the Subscriptions
Have you checked your subscriptions lately? Probably not. The beauty of subscriptions is that you only look at them once a year to either purchase or renew them. That's the beauty and the curse. Did you know that subscription-based businesses have grown 800% since 2014? Although this is great for companies, it may not be great for you. Subscriptions can leave you stuck with products you may not need or more importantly, enjoy. If you have a recurring subscription that you aren't thrilled about considering canceling and free up those finances for something else.
2. Start a Summer Fund
What to do with the money you're about to save on canceled subscriptions? Start a vacation or getaway fund! Spring is a reminder that summer is almost here and with that inevitably becomes vacation time and wedding season. If you haven't prepared for this time of the year, it can take a toll on your finances. Do yourself a favor and start a summer fund. This way, by next year you will be able to splurge with your family and friends. Not a summer person? No big deal. Re-label this fund for Christmas instead. Having an extra pile of cash is always useful.
3. Start Shopping!
Not at the mall but for other insurance providers! Rarely do we take a look at our car, home, healthcare, or life insurance and even more rarely do we switch. Spring is a great time to start shopping around for other insurance providers. Insurance is a huge financial cost that does not get adequately addressed by financial advisors or consultants. We are typically too busy looking at the stock market, overall economy, and day-to-day expenses to think about insurance. Take some time this year and find out if you're paying too much - it could save you thousands.
4. Exchange the Change
If you don't have a change jar, start one! If you do, take it to the bank. Even though we use our credit cards often, we still accumulate tons of change from our dollar bills throughout the year. Keeping your change is not only responsible but good financial planning. Your change jar may just feed your summer fund (see above). For parents, this may also be an excellent way to start an IRA or college fund for your children.
5. Go Paperless
Going paperless is one way to ensure your home and finances stay clean and tidy throughout the year. Instead, start getting email alerts for all of your banking and investing. This not only saves paper but time and energy when you want to see an update on your finances. It may even force you to take a deeper look at your day-to-day finances instead of throwing that mail in the trash. One great tip is to create a new email address specifically for financial matters. This way you don't ignore your important emails thinking that they are spam.
Sell your gently used items to feed your summer or Christmas fund. There are new apps like poshmark and old faithfuls like eBay to aid you in getting rid of things you don't need. The key to making this profitable for you in the long-term is to move funds you receive from these proceeds directly into your summer or Christmas fund. Do not stop go and collect $200!
Did we miss something? How do you spring clean your finances?