If you’re anything like me, then you might religiously check your budget and track your personal expenses every month so you can stay on top of things. However, staying on top of things doesn’t necessarily mean you are void of having no emergency savings, a mountain of debt up to your ears, and about $100 in your bank account to get you through the rest of the month.
I spoke about this topic on my Savings Segment on Fox. Watch the replay video here:
Regardless of your financial situation, giving your finances a good spring cleaning can make your life just a little easier. Besides, you’re already cleaning your home, so why not spring clean your finances too!
Cancel Any Unused Subscriptions And Memberships
Go through your online banking transactions or credit card statements in your personal expenses and write down any subscription or membership charges that you have.
Once you have your list, go through and ask yourself if you are honestly using all of your memberships.
A cheat I use for this is an app called Clarity Money. Once you set up your account, simply log into your bank account and then it will analyze your spending to see if there are any memberships it can either negotiate a lower rate or cancel altogether. If they cancel one something for you, they will keep 1/3rd of the savings only for that first month as a commission. That’s WELL WORTH the hassle you will avoid by having to call and negotiate yourself.
Are there any alternatives that would work just as well as the ones you are using, but cost less?
Did you know that there are typically around 15 FREE Magazine Subscriptions you can sign up for? You can read those instead of the ones you’d pay for! The best part is that you won’t even ever get a bill (and it will not automatically renew you and charge you later)! I’m talking about good ones such as Better Home & Gardens and Martha Stewart Living!
Cut Unnecessary Spending
In addition to getting rid of any clutter that you don’t need while spring cleaning your home, consider cutting any unnecessary spending from your personal expenses as well.
Are you eating out more than you should? Spending money on useless things you don’t need?
These can all be red flags that you need to do some cutting in your budget and personal expenses. Instead, find a better use for that money and invest in something that will bring you joy in the years to come.
We were worried to get rid of cable and break up our “bundle” but when we did, we ended up saving $604 by cutting cable!
Reevaluate Your Insurance Bills
When was the last time you reviewed your health, home, life and car insurance?
A lot can change in a year, and rates might not have been as great as they were when you started.
Make a note on your calendar to call your provider before your renewal and see if you can get any discounts to reduce your payment.
Clean Out Your Wallet And Purse
I mean this literally!
When was the last time you took the time to clean these things?
If you’re busy like me, then it’s probably been a while!
You may find spare cash, change, or even outdated checks that you didn’t know were in there. The last time I cleaned my purse, I found a Target Gift Card I’d forgotten I had!
Don’t miss out on money you already have but have forgotten to use! Find it and use it today!
Check For Unclaimed Money
Did you know the government is holding more than $40 billion in unclaimed money?
Some of it might be yours! I was shocked to find that my husband had $120 sitting in the State of Florida’s bank account just waiting for us to claim it!
All we had to do was submit a form to prove that we lived at the prior address where the check was originally mailed (but we had never received).
I’m sure there are loads of ways to search for unclaimed government money, but the only source I trust is by first checking my credit score through Credit Karma.
If you live in Florida then the site to check for unclaimed money is FLTreasureHunt.org. For all other states, I’d suggest you log into the FREE Credit Karma App to make sure you are getting a legitimate source.
Revisit Your Goals
Did you make financial goals at the beginning of the year?
If so, take the time to dig them out and go through them again.
Are you on track for completing them by the end of your designated timeline? Do you need to make additional changes to your budget to make it happen?
If the answer is no, then thankfully you still have time to adjust or even completely overhaul your goals.
Are You Maxing Out Your Retirement Contributions?
It might seem like too early to think about your retirement, but the truth is that most of us don’t contribute enough to retire!
If you have an employer-matched retirement plan, make sure you are maxing out those contributions as often as possible.
That’s free money that reduces your taxable income as well as helps you to build up for your financial future.
Time To Get Organized
If you had to find your tax return from seven years ago, could you find it?
If you had to dispute a charge on your credit card, could you find the statement and receipt?
When it comes to your finances and personal expenses, you can’t manage anything you don’t know or have.
While you can’t keep track of every single thing, you should at least have a clue of where to find it.
Take the time to at least gather it all together to set up a system for your financial documents. You’ll sleep better at night knowing you’ve got everything in one place should you need it.
Giving your personal expenses a spring cleaning can change the way you manage your finances. You wouldn’t let your home get out of hand, so don’t let your finances get out of hand either.
YOUR TURN: What is one of your financial goals? Saving for a new car? Vacation? Let me know in the comments below!
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