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Spring has sprung, and that means warmer weather, spending time outside, and fresh starts. While you’re tackling your spring cleaning, don’t forget your finances! Here are a few ways to get started:
Clean out your closet
As you’re going through belongings you no longer need, think about what you can sell for extra cash. There are plenty of apps and websites to easily resell items, like Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! With what you have left, donate what you can and throw away anything that isn’t in good condition.
Revisit or create a monthly budget
A good place to start is to look at your monthly income versus your expenses. First, determine your fixed reoccurring expenses, like rent or mortgage, car or student loan payments, and utilities. Then, with the money that’s left, see if you can cut back on spending. Maybe you can cancel one of your streaming services, or make a plan to cook more often instead of getting meals out. Are there services you’re paying for that you could do yourself? Save money by washing your own car, mowing the lawn instead of calling the landscaper, or skipping the salon and opting for an at-home manicure. It’s always nice to treat yourself, but you could save some money by doing it yourself.
To get a head start on your budget, check out our Personal Finance tool in our mobile banking app. You can enter information for all your accounts, at multiple banks, and see how you’re spending and where you can be saving.
Check in on your outstanding debts
Now that you’ve found ways to save a little extra money, think about where you can make your money work the hardest for you. That might mean using it to pay off what you owe: credit card debt, personal loans, student loans, and even your mortgage. The faster you can pay down the principle on the loan, the less interest you’ll pay over time.
Plan for the future
Experts suggest checking on your investments about four times a year to make the most of savings. To help you remember, plan to check in once a season. This spring, make sure your investments and contributions to your 401(k) and other retirement accounts are in order, and see if your strategy still fits your long-term goals.
Shred old documents
Do you have stacks of documents, bank statements, receipts, or other papers lying around? Now’s a great time to tackle those piles. Start by identifying what you should keep and create a filing system for quick reference for when you need those documents in the future. With the documents you don’t need anymore, sort into two groups: shred and toss. Take anything with personal information like your address, birthday, account numbers, and Social Security number, and plan to shred it. Recycle everything else.
Did you know we offer free, secure document shredding events? Find one near you at barringtonbank.com/events.