How to Spring Clean Your Finances
The temperature is rising, the blossoms are beginning to bud and the evenings are getting lighter – spring is here, and with it, the urge to start afresh. In fact, many of us who may be under lockdown conditions at the moment have decided to use the time wisely by doing repairs on the house or decluttering. But your spring cleaning should go one step further – into your finances. Being good with money requires taking the time to audit what’s going on with your bank account from time to time – and spring is the perfect time to check in, do some tidying up, save some money and get everything in order.
Close Down Any Old Accounts
Sometimes we need to spring clean our credit scores, and one of the quickest and most effective ways to do this is by closing down old and unused accounts. You might have a credit card you paid off and no longer use, or an old bank account from your student days. Take the time to figure out what is out there, consolidate any retirement money, shift your savings into the highest interest rate savings account you can find and close down old credit accounts. This can really help if you plan to make a new loan application, as lenders will look at the total amount of available credit you have before deciding.
Revise Your Budget
Take the time to actually analyse what you’re spending and where in your personal budget. You could cancel off any unused subscriptions, search for better deals on utilities or find a better rate mortgage. Which are the areas where you’re overspending? Using a money management app can help you to visualise exactly where those little costs are adding up that you may not be fully aware of.
Make A Plan For Debt
If you do have some debt in your life, be proactive about paying it off. You can use the snowball method to make more of a dent in what you owe, faster. Start by blitzing any payday loans and paying off credit cards in order of highest to lowest interest. Make your money work for you, and if you have a lot of savings which aren’t generating much interest, considering using some of them to pay off debt – although you should never leave yourself without enough for a rainy day.
Get Smarter About Buying
Getting the best deal on things can become quite addictive – there’s nothing quite like the feeling of paying less on something you really needed. For small purchases, instead of handing over your card on impulse, try taking a picture of the item and adding to a wishlist album. This gives you a cooling off period – if you still want the item in a week then you can purchase, but you’ll be surprised how often the desire will have passed. It also gives you an opportunity to compare prices online and shop around for the best deal first. Perhaps you can even use a shopping cashback site to earn some money on the purchase too.