The old saying is that March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.
That typically describes the weather at the beginning of spring, but it could also describe your financial picture. Maybe your finances are a ferocious, wild, and untamed animal.
This spring, don’t just get out the mop bucket and Swiffer for spring cleaning. Take a look at your entire financial picture, and see how you can tame your financial habits as you spruce things up.
Sweep and declutter
Your finances may be messy, but in the same way that you might pick up your bedroom, you can declutter and simplify your financial life.
For example, you may want to consider consolidating your accounts, or paying off any outstanding debts you have floating around. You may be able to consolidate and refinance your student loans, for instance, and reduce the number of monthly payments you need to make.
You can also sign up for e-statements to cut down on the amount of mail you receive, and it’s never a bad idea to create a budget—or revisit the budget you currently use—to get a clear picture of your finances.
Dust tends to accumulate in places and on things that are aren’t used or visited frequently. Think about the financial services or products that may be “collecting dust,” so to speak. For example, when was the last time you searched for a better interest rate on your credit card or savings account?
Or, your bank may be charging you unnecessary fees that you could potentially avoid by signing up for an account with a competing company. Also, if haven’t touched base with your credit card company recently, give them a call and see if you can get a better interest rate.
Shop around. If you can get a better interest rate on deposit accounts, or a fee-free service from another financial institution, why not make the switch?
Take a look at one of your bank statements. Chances are, there are some purchases on there that you’d like to scrub out—but since you’re no Marty McFly and can’t go back in time, the only thing you can do is to make better decisions going forward.
So, like a true spring cleaner, make a resolution to scrub your statements of bad decisions. It may take some work, but just like making your bed or cleaning your room, making better decisions with your money can become a habit.
Nothing says “spring cleaning” like cutting out junk spending!
Kick off spring with a fresh start and make saving and investing an automatic habit.