Winter is over, and spring has finally arrived! But springtime is more than the aftermath of another long winter. It’s a time of rebirth when everything is made new again, and this sense of revitalization often calls for some much-needed house cleaning and decluttering. After a whole year of unchecked buildup of dust, dirt, and grime, it’s definitely time to clean house.
But your house isn’t the only thing that needs cleaning; your finances might be something you should look at tidying up as well. If you’ve taken out some title loans to help make it through the holidays, now’s the time to get them paid off and get your financial house in order. Here’s some helpful financial housekeeping tips to give you a fresh start this year:
Start off on the right foot by revisiting your budget and maybe giving it a much-needed reset. Have you made any progress since you began your original budget? Are you over or under? If you’re over, try cutting back on some the spending you’ve been doing lately and maybe tighten some loose ends in your budget. If you’re under, see if there’s any wiggle room for a stricter budget. Get everything into place to make the most of your income this year
Take the time to go through all your previous paper statements and bills. If you want to keep them for your records, try organizing them into an accordion folder or a filing cabinet. Otherwise, shred them and go paperless. Your future statements will be sent to your email where you can view them from your computer or phone. Going paperless will give you an instant sigh of relief and make your financial life feel a lot less cluttered.
Check your credit score to see where you’re at. Your credit score says a lot about your financial health and is ultimately the one thing that can mean the difference between financial success or failure. If you have a low score, start a commitment to cut credit spending and make bigger monthly payments to pay down debt. Also, it is essential to make your payments on time. If you’re not good keeping track of your billing due dates, set up a calendar and mark the days that your bills are due. Keep track of this calendar daily to make sure you stay on track with your bills. After a few months of on-time payments, you'll start to see your numbers inch up!
Now that the holidays are long gone, it’s time to play catchup on all the debt you’ve accumulated. Start off with the credit card that has the least amount owed on it and work your way up from there. It’s a lot easier to conquer smaller debts first before taking on any heftier balances. Try committing to pay double or even triple the minimum payment each month to get your debt paid off even faster.
After all is said and done, the last thing you can still do to clean up your finances is to clean out your house at the same time. Collect items from around the house that you have no use for anymore and try selling them online or hold a yard sale and make some extra cash over the weekend. This is a win - win scenario, because you’ll be decluttering your home while putting some extra cash in your pocket at the same time.
Cleaning is a healthy ritual and it should be applied to only your home, but your finances as well. Take these ideas and use them to clean up your finances and kick things off right this year.