« Articles « « Give Your Finances a Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning means digging deep into closets and getting rid of unused, outdated or forgotten items. Decluttering your home allows you to better appreciate your surroundings and the things you value, while freeing up room to add new treasures.
Give your finances the spring cleaning treatment, too. Here are ways to maximize the money you have and give yourself room to grow.
- Clear out easy wins first. Easy wins are expenses you can reduce or remove with minimal effort. They're a quick way to feel more in control of spending and motivate you to make other changes. Easy wins could include canceling unused gym memberships, shopping for competitive insurance policies or negotiating with your cable provider for a better deal. You may be able to lower monthly payments on high-interest credit cards by consolidating your debt with a personal loan.
- Replace outdated living expenses with ones that fit. Just like we have to admit we aren’t going to fit into those skinny jeans ever again, be honest when assessing your living expenses. As your life changes, try to plan for future expenses and look for ways to balance them by cutting spending elsewhere. Old laptop about to crash? Try trading it in for a discount on a new one. New car in your future? Shop auto insurance for lower premiums. Navy Federal offers members a way to save on car insurance with GEICO®.
- Air out spending patterns. Brush the dust off your checking and credit card statements for a closer look. What’s the average amount you spend on groceries, eating out, clothes or entertainment per month? Does it vary depending on the time of year? Understanding spending patterns can help you plan for future needs or find places where you can cut spending. You can use Navy Federal’s mobile app* to view your transactions and monthly statements.
- Leave space for saving. Once you know what your spending patterns are and how much money you need to cover expenses, make a plan to save some money each month. Saving for a specific goal can be motivating as you watch the distance between you and your new motorcycle, beach vacation or emergency fund get closer. Setting up automatic transfers like those available through Navy Federal’s mobile* or online banking can help you save without having to think about it.
Try to plan your spending for the next 6 to 12 months and make adjustments as needed. For more information on budgeting, including a monthly budget worksheet, visit MakingCents.