The signs are everywhere. Sunny skies. Longer days. Everything is in full bloom. Spring is finally here. Time to dust off the old and breathe in the new. We think spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to your home, your financial space could use a clean slate.
Financial clutter, unexpected expenses, overspending, missed payments, too many shortfalls before payday. If any of these situations are holding you back, it’s time to get those finances freshly organized and start earning more.
Welcome to the $pring Clean Your $pace Challenge
For the month of April, your goal is to dedicate one week to going through your finances, investments, and goals. That’s right. This isn’t a month-long challenge, but more of a plant your seeds now so you can reap the financial benefits all spring kind of exercise.
The good news is that no heavy equipment is required. But you will need a filing cabinet or digital app that makes organizing documents and notes enjoyable. Because making your finances more manageable can affect your life in more than one positive way.
There are no rules or limits. The list below is just to get you started and thinking about how you can start a fresh financial plan for the year. Be creative! Take an idea and make it yours.
Let’s $pring to it.
Remove financial clutter.
Do you have multiple accounts and more cards than you need? So many that you’re not able to take complete advantage of the rewards programs? It’s time to consolidate and review your cards to cut down on interest rates and fees. If you have credit card debt, consider calling your provider to ask for a lower interest rate.
Whenever you can, opt for e-statements. A lot of companies offer incentives to go paperless, plus you’ll never have to worry about storing or shredding those documents at home again. Just remember that some companies only store documents for a certain period of time, so download it for your records.
Scan your bills.
Look over your bills, statements and credit score to make sure there aren’t any surprise charges or blatant inaccuracies. Consider downloading a budget app to be more proactive about your spending.
Automate your payments.
Missed one too many bill payments? We totally understand. Everyone has so much to worry about never mind due dates for bills, savings, and investments that are sprinkled throughout the month. Do yourself a favour and have those payments automated to avoid incurring extra charges.
Back up your documents.
Your access to electronic statements is denied after a certain period of time so make sure you have all the paperwork you require, especially at tax time, by backing them up on a hard drive or even better, up to the cloud so you can sync them with your other devices.
Change your passwords.
Who doesn’t love the convenience of online banking and shopping? But, as easy as it is, make sure you’re protecting yourself from potential fraudulent activity and identity theft by creating stronger passwords.
Get rid of stuff.
Empty those closets. You’re probably holding on to a gold mine of unused stuff. Get paid to live with less. Hit those consignment shops, post them online, have a yard sale, download an app, join social groups; there’s someone out there who wants what you don’t need.
Kick your debt to the curb.
Time to dig into that debt. Organize your debts into categories (mortgage, credit cards, personal loans, etc.), give the interest rates and payment schedules another look and see if you can accelerate your payments.
Create a financial vision board.
This one’s fun. How will money help manifest what you desire? Look at the big picture and map it all out. Use magazine clippings and anything else you managed to recycle from the rest of your spring cleaning to create your board. Or Pinterest, that’s always inspiring.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and start spring cleaning.
We’ll check in mid-month!