For most people, financial struggles can be overcome without any change in income. This is because we live in a world of excess where online shopping and drive-thru lattes seem as necessary as dinner on the table or a roof over our heads. We are lucky to live in this environment, but this luxurious life does not equate to a heavy bank account.
Instead, most of us live beyond our means, over-extended on credit cards or living paycheck-to-paycheck. It is stressful to live this way, and it catches up to everyone...eventually. But it is actually easy to make small changes that greatly impact your financial situation. That is why it is important to give your finances a spring cleaning with these five tips.
5 Ways to Give Your Finances a Spring Cleaning
- Set an Allowance: One of the first ways to start your spring cleaning is to figure out where your expendable income is going and put a cap on it. Maybe it is your morning latte, but it could be anything. Eating out is a common way to spend money, but it could be a shopping habit or a tendency to make purchases on a whim. All of these things are okay in moderation, but you need to set limits.
- Eliminate Unused Subscriptions: Ditching cable television has been a money saver for many, but high-priced cable services have been replaced with multiple apps that have monthly subscriptions. Additionally, monthly subscriptions are an amazing treat for people who get clothes, make-up, children's activities, and even food in a monthly subscription box. There's nothing bad about subscription services if it is within your budget. However, too many people are paying for things they don't use. Look at your subscriptions and see where you can eliminate unnecessary monthly costs.
- Set Up Auto-Pay: Equally important to monitoring spending is making sure you pay your bills on time. Those who forget to pay monthly bills on time suffer late fees and lowered credit scores. It's so easy to set up auto-pay. You should still check to make sure the money goes where it should, but at least you won't be late.
- Meal Plan: They say you shouldn't grocery shop with an empty stomach. You'll save more even more money if you shop with a plan. Meal planning allows you to repurpose items and buy in bulk. It also prevents snack shopping and ordering out at the last minute because you didn't meal plan. It's an easy step that improves your budgeting capabilities and takes some stress out of the week.
- Evaluate: Lastly, you must truly look at your finances and evaluate where you are in life. Look at your financial plans for your children and retirement. Evaluate future costs and opportunities for investment. It's a big step to evaluate your finances and start planning for the future, and the sooner you do it, the better your finances will be.
Spring Cleaning Your Finances Gets You Ready for Summer
Many of the gains you get from spring cleaning your finances will result in long-term improvements, but you'll see some improvements right away. You'll be able to reallocate money to savings but also to vacations and summer fun. Get ready for summer by reducing money stresses and at the same time pave the way for your long-term financial success.