When you hear the words spring cleaning, what comes to mind? If you are like most people, cleaning your home is the first thing you think about. And while making your home shine is important, you should also consider spring cleaning your finances. If you have been putting off giving your finances a refresh, spring is the perfect time to do it. Below are tips to help whip your finances into shape.
Pay Down Your Debt
The first step of financial spring cleaning is to itemize and start paying down your debt. Aside from credit card payments, you need to look at monthly obligations you can improve as well. If your student loan payments are too high, you could consider refinancing them. There are available lenders where you can input your personal information, how you owe, and how much you can comfortably afford. Then, you can choose the loan term, rare and then sign to lock in a lower rate. In addition, you can look at ways to slash grocery, utility, and even the costs of entertainment each month.
Get Rewarded for Spending
If you do have credit cards, maximize your saving potential. Use cards that offer the most cash back at the stores you shop at the most. Some cards, like Discover, offer savings and cash back options at different stores on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
Automate Your Payments
Accidentally missing your due date can cost you a lot of money in late fees. Save yourself the stress and money by automating your payments each month. Just be sure to check if your payment due date falls on a weekend. If so, you could still be charged a fee.
Only Pay in Cash
If you rely on debit or credit cards, switch over to a cash-only policy. It is easy to go overboard when using your cards. Take out a set amount of cash when you go out. That way, when it is spent, you will not be tempted to reach for your card.
Pay Yourself First
Each pay, set aside money to treat yourself. Many times, people will stop doing things they enjoy just to find ways to save money each paycheck. Unfortunately, this can lead to reckless spending later on. Unless it is cutting into your actual bill money, allow yourself to enjoy the little things.
Avoid Impulse Buys
Impulse buying is one of the biggest financial faux pas you can make. Always plan out your purchases and if it is a large one, give your enough time to weigh the pros and cons of the purchase.
Use Money Apps
Budgeting apps can help you shake up your spending habits. You can see exactly where your money is going, automatically transfer money into your savings and even set up alerts when you’re overspending. Some of the top apps available for download include Stash, One, Pylon and Expensify.
Simplify Your Bills
Without a strategy, managing your money can be messy. Streamline how you pay your bills with monthly reminders, checklists and again money apps that help simplify the process. If possible, pay your bills on the same due date or within the same 10-day period.