Spring Cleaning Your Finances

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Spring Cleaning Your Finances

By Edith Berko

As the weather warms up we embrace newness when we open up our windows for fresh air to come in and the old stuffy air to go out. We get into the spirit of Spring and clean all the difficult parts of the house. However, there are other areas in our life that also need cleaning – our finances.  It’s the time where we work on letting the negative numbers go out and bring in more positive ones.  It takes only a pen, paper, some number crunching, and the following tips to spring clean your finances.

List everything you owe

Sometimes not having your bills and debts physically laid out in front of you causes you to forget how much you need to clear. We live in a time where everything is virtual and can be easily forgotten about. That’s dangerous to your credit score! Take a moment and list everything you owe. List all your recurring bills and clearly see what you are dealing with.  

Balance your payments with your payday

After realizing where you stand financially, determine what minimums you have to pay and when you have to pay them by.  Once you realize what’s due when, line it up with your payday. For example, if you get paid every two weeks you can set up automatic payments for you credit card from the pay that allows you to not miss your due date.

Reevaluate your spending

There are several little habits we have that eat into our money. Eating out a lot, taking Uber everywhere, shopping every Thursday night, your daily Starbucks coffee in the morning amongst many more habits can make a dent in your pockets. Realize that every time you tap your card you are going off budget. A good way to gain control over this is to budget an amount you want to spend all week on these habits, take it out cash and pay for everything with this cash. Once you run out, you run out. That way you don’t end up over spending.

Pay yourself before your bills

A great method to save is to work with percentages. Say, January to March I will save 5% from each pay cheque. Once you’ve cleared a bill you can increase the amount to 10% from April to June and so forth. It doesn’t have to be much. However, don’t forget to save. Make it a habit and a rule in life. Pay yourself before you pay anybody else. You deserve it!

Scan your bank accounts, credit cards, and credit score.

You never know what you may find when you take a look at what went out when. Sometimes we get charged for something we were not supposed to be charged for or an amount is withdrawn that wasn’t us. You need to check and make sure everything is in good condition including your credit score.  A couple reports to collection stays on record for at least 5 years as per Equifax and Trans Union. Sometimes, it happens they have the wrong information on you. So, it is good to take a look.

Taking the time to organize your finances is a good way to get back on track and refresh your financial New Year goals. It allows you to see if you are on track and where adjustments can be made to help you get better on track.  Finance can easily fall to the side when we’re so busy and always on the go. Your finances don’t look good? Don’t stress! This spring you’ll start getting everything in check.