If you’re avoiding picking up the broom and mop this spring, start the season off right with a spring clean of your finances. Dust off your checklists, organize your documents, and get your budget plan squeaky clean. Who said spring cleaning is just for the home? We have 7 ways to spring clean your finances.
1. Redeem your points
Look through your drawers to find forgotten gift cards and loyalty cards and take stock of what you can use to save on everyday purchases. Make a point to use leftover gift cards from Christmas, either to shop online or in-store. And, if you think it would be better in someone else’s hands, consider re-selling it for a little bit less online, or trade with friends. Gather your loyalty cards and see how many points you have and what you can redeem. You may be surprised to find a hundred dollars’ worth of Shoppers Optimum Points or five free movies worth of Scotiabank Scene Points!
2. Review your credit cards
While you’re cleaning out your wallet, identify the credit cards you use everyday and the ones you could do without. Do a quick financial audit. Check your balances, pre-authorized charges and any websites your cards are associated with. Also take some time to review your family spending so you can create a budget you and your partner can follow. You may decide to get rid of some credit cards or switch to ones with better benefits like cash back or other rewards.
3. Analyze your debt
Take an inventory of your assets and liabilities. Sit down and go through your bank accounts, credit cards, debts, mortgages, loans, insurance, phone and utility payments, and any other financial clutter to take an honest look at your situation. Write down your monthly expenses and evaluate your debt. How much do you owe? Are you making minimum payments? You may be paying extra in interest charges. Do you need to re-evaluate your insurance based on your assets? This is the time to sit down and review. You may want to set up automated bill payments and streamline the process.
4. Create new goals
Maybe last year’s goal was to pay off school debt. Perhaps this year it is to buy a car. Once you have evaluated your debt, it’s time to evaluate your savings. Figure out where you stand, where you want to be, and how you can get there. Be realistic and create goals based on past spending and your current budget. Focus on what you want to see this season and make a realistic plan to achieve it.
5. Go paperless
Get rid of paper documents and make the move to online banking. Clean your desk of credit card statements, pay stubs, and other documents past their keep-date. If you need to keep some paper documents like tax records, set up a filing system and organize documents in a safe place. Electronically, spreadsheets and folders are great ways to organize your payments. Look into finance apps that can help you along the way and are conveniently stored on your smartphone!
6. Save on cleaning supplies
Save money while you are literally spring cleaning. Search recipes for homemade cleaners; they are often quick to make, inexpensive, and easy on the environment. Look around the house for supplies you may already have. Baking soda, vinegar, tea, lemon juice, oils, and toothpaste are just a few common DIY cleaning ingredients.
7. Trash it
If you haven’t used it, get rid of it. As you’re cleaning, make a pile of things you may be able to cash in on. Collect beer bottles to return to the store, donate items to charity and benefit with a possible tax return, and organize items you think may sell. Spring is the best time to set up a yard sale on a sunny afternoon to make a little extra room in your house, and a little extra money in your pocket.
Once you have spring cleaned your finances, bring that extra cash to us and we can help you invest it. Good luck!
Invisor offers Canadian investors personalized investment management solutions at a fraction of the cost of traditional advisor models, without requiring any minimum investment amounts. Get started now to tell us a little about yourself and your goals, and we’ll find an investment solution just right for you.
If you liked this blog post, please feel free to share it on your favourite social media site by clicking on the links below.