It’s almost officially spring, and I’m just as excited as you about sunshine and…well, sunshine. Aside from that…who’s ready for a little spring cleaning?! We already changed our clocks, and now it’s time to spring forward in our money lives, too. Decluttering and organizing your life and finances will put you in the right state of mind to conquer warmer days ahead. ‘Cause what fun is enjoying the sunshine if you’re stressing about money?
- Take a financial selfie…stat: Still receiving bills in the mail? Constantly forgetting which Friday you’re supposed to pay your cellphone bill? Take a quick financial selfie and see which areas you can make more efficient. Sign up for paperless billing, set up automatic payments (as long as you keep an eye on ‘em!), and create (or update) your financial calendar for the months ahead. Spring can also be a great time to shop around for lower interest rates and negotiate with your providers[insert link to negotiating medical bills story]. If there are other people in your household (significant other, family, roommates), have a meeting so that household expenses are discussed and divided up. Put it all on the table (checklists and spreadsheets can help!)
- Get yourself covered: Especially for those of you (ahem, Boston) who received an insane amount of snow this year, make sure to check your insurance policy to make sure water damage and flooding is covered. Even if you’re not expecting a massive snow melt where you live, take time to take inventory of your possessions and review your insurance policies. If your emergency fund is looking better-than-good, you may be able to up your insurance deductible—which will free up money elsewhere.
- Sell your crap. While you probably have an ongoing list of household areas to clean and revive, don’t forget to include the little things that will make your life easier. Finally throw out (or donate, if applicable) those bulk items you bought that are just sitting in the cupboard gathering dust. Shred old documents (pretty much everything more than seven years old) that are clogging your filing system. Somehow acquired several crock pots? Sell or donate the extras. Fix that drawer handle that’s been driving you nuts. Remember to think of your household like a business: the more organized it is the more cost-efficiently it will run.
Try to tackle one of these items per week for the next three weeks, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying the sunshine instead of stuck in hibernation because of a financial funk.
Wanna learn how to sell your you-know-what…and making a little extra cash on the side? Here’s how!