Spring has sprung! Trees are blooming, birds are singing and flowers are beginning to pop up – much like the items on your housekeeping to-do list. Spring cleaning is a household ritual that 78% of Americans partake in this time of year, according to a 2022 survey conducted by the American Cleaning Institute. So, whether you’re touching up paint, clearing your closets or steaming your carpets, it’s likely you’ll be cleaning up the house in some way this season, too.
Clearing household clutter might be another task on this year’s to-do list, but it’s also the perfect time to clear your financial clutter as well. With tax season just ending, your tax return and finances are already top-of-mind. Take this time to tidy up your budget and bank accounts. You may even dust off a few ways to save!
Begin With the Basics: Your Budget and Financial Goals
Let’s look at your budget: Are you allocating for your fixed expenses first, like your mortgage and car payment? How much are you setting aside for your day-to-day costs like groceries and gas? Are you putting any money aside in a savings account or emergency fund?
Take a look at your last year’s or past 6 months’ spending habits to figure out where your money went. If you find any extra money in your budget, you can put away the difference into savings this year.
Start Your Financial Spring Cleaning: Consolidate Debt
It’s no secret that mess causes stress, which is why decluttering is crucial to a deep spring clean. If you have multiple debt payments, like a car payment, credit card statements to pay or a few student loans, you may find that keeping track of these financial documents each month is also a little stressful. Refinancing or consolidating your debts could be the solution. A credit card balance transfer can reduce the APR on your credit card debt as they typically come with a lower interest rate, helping you pay less as you pay it down.
Sweep Away Mindless Spending
Rid your bank statement of unnecessary spending you may not even realize you’re doing. Mindless subscriptions are a common culprit. Take the time to cancel gym memberships and magazine subscriptions before more money is wasted. With those dollars back in your pocket, you can reevaluate your needs and potentially find something that better fits your budget later.
Eating out and online shopping might be convenient and save you time—but they don’t help you save money. Sock these savings away in a certificate and watch them grow, or use them to treat yourself to something bigger than your daily coffee, like spending money on your next vacation.
Spring cleaning your home takes patience and elbow grease, but the refreshing feeling that comes once you’re done is well worth the effort. If you apply this same work to your finances, you’ll be renewed and ready to take on the year with a better budget and even better financial habits.
- Take the time to review your recurring expenses to ensure you’re not paying for subscriptions and memberships you no longer use.
- If you have any high interest debt, consider a balance transfer or debt consolidation loan.
- Use our Monthly Spending Calculator to track all your expenses to help kick-start your budget.
- Need personalized help? Whatever your financial situation, Navy Federal’s personal finance counseling can help.
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.