While the phrase “spring cleaning” usually brings on thoughts of washing windows and organizing closets, it can also signal the perfect time to start cleaning up your finances. Taking steps, no matter how small, toward simplifying your finances can work wonders for your well-being.
Here are five things you can do to get started.
#1: Take Your Accounts into Account
When it comes to bank accounts, more is definitely not merrier. Keep savings and checking accounts to a minimum, using only one or two financial institutions at a time. This will save you the headache of running from bank to bank, website to website and password to password.
#2: Trim the Financial Fat
Spring is the perfect time to clear out any unnecessary spending or expenses. For example, try switching from an overloaded cable package to a month-to-month streaming service, app subscription or an á la carte channel provider. And be honest with yourself – Do you actually need it? This should help take some of the stress off your budget and your brain.
#3: Get Credit for Your Credit Card
If you’re going to spend with a credit card, try to find a way to make it count. Find a card that pays you back for the things you do regularly. For example, if you spend a lot of time driving, find a program that gives you gas rewards. It will save you extra bits of cash here and there.
#4: Make Technology Work for You
Budget-focused tech has come a long way in the past decade. Apps like Mint, Wally and Toshl Finance have made it super easy to keep track of your budget and manage your spending habits down to the dollar. Your bank may also offer a budgeting app. They can also help you set payment reminders, create financial goals and check your accounts with the touch of a button.
From gas bills to credit cards, automatic billing is another convenience that can help you save time – and paper. By scheduling the date and amount ahead of time, you won’t have to re-experience that sinking feeling when you realize you missed an important payment.
#5: Use the Buddy System
Looking for an easy motivator? Try the good, old-fashioned buddy system. Pair up with a friend to compare notes, keep spending habits in check and cheer each other on.
At the end of the day, the best way to simplify your financial health is with routine. But like most routines, it doesn’t happen overnight. Simplifying your finances takes time, patience and a little planning. And of course, if the day ever comes when you need a little assistance, World Finance will be there to help.