Spring Cleaning For Your Finances

Marie Kondo has taken the process of organization to a whole new level. Through her “spark joy” campaign, the business of cleaning-house has grown a new commercial leg. Marie Kondo says she loves clutter and relishes in the opportunity to help people weed out the unnecessary things in their lives to get to the root of what really matters to them.

Why don’t we try and apply this method to our finances: do your financial habits bring you joy?

Your answer to that question might be complicated because in some ways you may be excelling and in other ways, you might need to improve. Since spring is the time you haul the duster out from the back of the closet and finally recycle the pile of papers stacked up at your desk, why not add cleaning up your finances to the list?

I’ll show you some easy ways you can give your finances a nice spring cleaning this year!

1. Automate

There are so many new technological advancements designed to make your life easier. One of those things is the process of automation. Have you ever missed a credit card payment, or forgot to contribute to your savings account? Most people have experienced situations like those at least once in their lives and, speaking from experience, I can tell you that it’s not fun. Missing payments can cost you money in late fees and it can also set you back on your savings goals. By automating your finances, you ensure that your bills are paid on time and that you are moving along with your savings goals.

Automation takes human error out of the equation, and we know too well that human error permeates every piece of our lives. When you set up recurring payments or automatic deposits, those little tasks are taken care of for you, allowing you to focus on your bigger picture goals and strategies.

This process also limits the amount of paper you receive. Most bills, credit cards, rent, utilities, etc. are sent in the mail. By automating, your statements and payments will be made online eliminating the clutter and pileup of paper.

Incorporating automation into your finances this spring is a great way to set yourself up for success and keep the bills from piling up on your desk!

2. Subscriptions

How many businesses are you subscribed to right now? There are so many types of subscription packages out there from clothing to groceries to shoes to wine, almost everything you could want is packaged in a nice box with a hefty monthly fee. It is worth taking a look at how many companies you are subscribed to and how much you are paying for them each month.

Maybe you signed up for a fun monthly coffee subscription package where the first month only cost you $10, but each subsequent month rose to $20. That increase will add a lot to your monthly spending, and it is important to assess how it fits into your spending habits.

I recommend finding at least 1 or 2 that you could pare down or cancel. Take a critical look at where your money is going and if there is a more cost-effective way to buy the things you want. It is all about intentional spending here.

  • What are you spending money on?
  • Does your spending align with your values?
  • How does your spending honor your intentions?
  • Why do you spend money on your subscriptions?

Answering these questions will give you a realistic sense of your spending habits and the things most important to you. When you spend money, it should be in line with your goals and values. When that happens, you will have joy.

3. Entertainment

Long winter nights can make it difficult to feel motivated to cook. Maybe you ordered more pizza in February than you expected or you went out to dinner most nights of the week. Going out to eat can really take a bite out of your finances. It is often at least double the price as making your own food. Now, this does not mean you can never leave your home. Of course, you can enjoy a meal out with your spouse or your friends but it is all about moderation and intention.

By limiting eating meals out, you will save so much money and will be able to put it toward your other saving goals.

4. Assess Your Goals

Each year it is important to take a look at your financial goals.

  • Have they changed?
  • What progress have you made?
  • How do you want to move forward?

Your financial goals should be the driving force behind your spending and saving habits. Your finances are personal; they are about you and what makes you happy.

Spring cleaning can be a fun time; a time to purge yourself of unnecessary clutter and get a new, fresh start. Your finances deserve that same spruce! I would love to help you align your finances with your goals for this year. Contact us and we can make a plan that works for you

Wood Smith Advisors, a woman-owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.

"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.

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