These days, everyone has a few dusty old financial cobwebs in the corners of their lives that seriously need cleaning.
But instead of removing those cobwebs when they get the chance, people tend to let them linger longer than they should — which can sometimes make them grow even bigger!
Don't let that happen. This season, figure out exactly what you can do to remove all of your financial cobwebs.
Spring Clean Your Finances
To start your financial spring cleaning, you will need to take stock of your current expenses. Get a jump on your spring cleaning process by eliminating any of these unnecessary expenditures:
- Expensive habits like dining out for multiple meals a week
- Subscription services like Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, cable, magazines, or video game services
- Overuse of electricity and other utilities
- Too much monthly credit card use
- Overpriced insurance policies
Take Stock of Your Budget
Every household should have a budget. It tells you how much you can spend each month and keeps you within your means. You should budget for everyday items, such as groceries and gas, as well as monthly payments on utilities and rent. Your income should cover your monthly budget, but if it doesn't, you can adjust.
After you have taken the above steps to reduce your monthly budget, go over how much you spend each month on necessities. Then look over your previous month's bank statements to find out how much you spent on eating out and entertainment. Such expenses will be the first to go if your income is not covering your monthly costs.
Get everyone in your family on board with the new budgeting system. Ensure they will pay attention to how much they spend and record it in a family spreadsheet. Then you can see with a glance who is sticking to the plan and who needs a reminder.
Plan for the Future
A big part of spring cleaning your finances is determining what you need for the future as well. If you haven't been saving money, now is the time to start. We recommend that all clients set up an emergency savings fund. The money can cover unexpected expenses, such as new tires for your car or an expensive medical procedure.
Even if you are living paycheck to paycheck, it is still possible to save. You don't have to put away a lot each month — just a few dollars. The money will grow fast as long as you consistently contribute to the account.
Nearly every utility and subscription service has an option to go paperless and get your bills via email. You also get reminders that you can act on right away when you see them. For instance, if your electric bill is due in 24 hours, you can hop on the website and make the payment right then. You can set up automatic payments as well, which ensures you won't forget to pay your bill.
When you convert to paperless billing, you add convenience to your life and save paper — which is good for the environment, too.
How to Clean up Debt
Debt can overshadow your budget, especially when it feels too big to tackle. By carefully scheduling your debt payments and budgeting to pay more than the required monthly amount, you can pay off your debt more quickly. Use these tips decrease your debt as you spring clean your finances:
- Pay more than the minimum each month
- Never miss a payment, or you may have to pay a penalty
- Build debt payments into your monthly budget
- Monitor your credit score to ensure it reflects your steady repayment schedule
You should request a copy of your credit report every spring as well to make sure there is nothing inaccurate on it. If you discover a loan you didn't take out or a credit card account you didn't open, you can pursue a fraud investigation.
Consider the Benefits of Personal Loans
Sometimes, even after you perform a complete overhaul of your finances, you still have one additional obstacle in the way of accomplishing your goals: your credit score.
A bad credit score can make it tough to secure any additional financing from a traditional lender. That's why you should consider the immediate benefits of a personal loan — a no credit check means of getting the money you need, ASAP. We have locations across Texas and Oklahoma where you can take out a loan, or you can apply online today.
If you follow these quick tips this season and consider the benefits of personal loans, you'll take a huge step in the right financial direction. Now doesn't that feel better?