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Start Fresh | 5 Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances
Tom Hartford, Senior Editor
March 27th, 2020
What better time for a fresh start than during springtime? After all, this special season is all about re-blooming into something spectacular. So, before you begin spring cleaning the cobwebs in those hard-to-reach areas of your home (don’t forget dusty fan blades, too), take a day or two to reevaluate your financial standing.
Taking the first step toward your financial spring cleanup is the hardest. But it’s also the most rewarding. Here are a few personal pocketbook tips to help spring clean your finances.
1. Declutter Your Paperwork
Have mountains of mail? You aren’t alone. Start your spring cleanup by decluttering your stacks of mail and lingering paperwork. Sort them into three piles: bills and important documents, financial resources, and junk mail.
In your first pile, make sure to hold onto important bills, as you don’t want your utility bills to go unpaid. Make note of due dates. Perhaps you can make a calendar or checklist to stay on track and remind yourself when bills are due.
In your second pile, keep mail that may help you in the future. These pieces include coupons and advertisements with unbeatable sale prices. Also, hold onto your mail promotions from Check Into Cash. These pieces may include special rebates and time-sensitive offers for loan options available just for you. Remember, Check Into Cash is always here to help when you need.
In your third pile, round up the junk mail. Once you’ve sorted through your meaningful mail, throw away the not-so-important stuff. This may include irrelevant advertisements, unwanted catalogs, or pesky extended warranty offers, just to name a few.
Our Suggestion: Try to recycle your unwanted mail items.
If you’re a digital person, you may be able to request paperless billing from some of your service providers. Some companies even offer a discount for this function! But remember, this type of billing isn’t for everyone. Paperless billing can easily go unnoticed. So, if you’re the kind of person who needs paper bills to remind them of their dues every month, that’s perfectly okay.
Create an Organized System
Once you’ve muddled through all your mail, keep the organization going. Create a system that works best for you. Perhaps you can hole punch your monthly bills and put them in binders. Or, file them away in an organized file cabinet. Do whatever it takes to keep your finances springy clean all year long.
2. Evaluate Your Expenses
Another springtime personal finance tip is to evaluate your expenses. Print out your bank statements from the past three months. Then, go through your spending with a fine-tooth comb. Highlight instances where you could have spent less, or perhaps spent nothing at all.
It’s difficult, but in order to spring clean your finances, you’ve got to identify and eliminate frivolous spending. That’s right— no more gourmet coffees, restaurant outings, fast food, etc.
By analyzing your spending habits, you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities you’ll uncover to cut back your spending.
3. Shorten Your List of Subscription Services
We live in a subscription-based world. From streaming services to monthly magazines, it’s easy to rack up a lengthy list of subscriptions. See which of these services can be consolidated or cancelled altogether.
For example, if you subscribe to multiple music or television streaming services, weigh the pros and cons of each and determine which ones you could live without.
Some companies also offer discounts for family plans, so try joining forces with family or friends to split the bill. This stands true with some mobile providers, too. Major phone companies offer better rates when you add more lines to a mobile family plan. Also, if you’re having trouble paying your phone bill, here’s some advice on what you can do.
4. Shop Around for Competitive Rates
The next step to spring clean your finances is shopping around for more competitive rates. Begin with your insurance providers. There are countless car, home, and rental insurance providers. And it’s quite a competitive industry, too, with free quotes. Take some time to call or click to compare your rates. You may be able to squeeze out some spring savings here.
Also, look for promotions from your service providers. Mobile, cable, and internet companies often run promotions this time of year. You may be eligible to save a little on your bills here. Remember, every small bit helps.
5. Save a Little Something Extra
The last step to spring clean your finances is ramping up your rainy-day fund. Of course, saving is incredibly difficult. We understand. It takes discipline and not everyone has the means to save. Still, try your best to save a little something extra.
Talk to your bank about the ability to auto-draft your account. Begin by automatically drafting $5 each week into a savings account. It may not sound like much, but after time, it’ll add up. The most important part— don’t touch it until you absolutely need it!
Also, popular savings apps like Acorns and Mint can help you to save, too. These apps round up your debit purchases to the nearest dollar, saving the difference in a separate account. Do a little research to see how these technological tools can help you spring clean your finances.
Once you’ve completed your financial spring cleanup, keep the rhythm going through summer, fall, and winter. You can do it! And remember, Check Into Cash is here to help whenever you need.
Need a Springtime Boost?
Check Into Cash can spring your bank account forward. We offer Installment Loans, Lines of Credit, Title Loans, Payday Loans, and more. Different areas have different options, so find which loan type you’re eligible for below.
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