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Seven Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget 

Seven Tips to Spring Clean Your Budget 

By Anna Baskin 

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home! The season can also be a great time to take a look at your current spending and find ways to save more. Check out our seven easy tips to spring clean your budget. 

Review Your Expenses 

Start by taking a close look at your expenses from the past few months. Use online banking tools such as Money Management in the Service Credit Union mobile app to track your spending and identify any areas where you may be overspending. Look for recurring subscriptions or memberships that you no longer use and consider canceling them to free up some extra cash in your budget. 

Look for Places to Cut Costs 

Once you’ve identified your expenses, it’s time to trim the fat. Look for non-essential expenses that you can cut back on or eliminate. This could include dining out less frequently, reducing your cable or streaming services, or finding ways to save on utilities by being more energy-efficient.  

Need a little kickstart to cutting back? Try out a “no-spend” challenge for a month, week or even just a day. A spending “cleanse” can help you identify areas that are easier to cut out than others. Every little bit helps! 

Negotiate Bills 

Take the time to review your monthly bills, such as your cell phone, internet, or cable. Many providers are willing to negotiate rates, especially if you’ve been a loyal customer for a long time. Call your providers and ask if there are any discounts or promotions available, or if they can offer you a better rate. You may be surprised at how much you can save just by asking. 

Set Goals 

As you spring clean your budget, it’s important to have clear financial goals in mind. Whether you’re saving for a down payment on a house, paying off debt, or planning for retirement, setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals can help you stay focused and motivated. Write down your goals and create a plan to achieve them, breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps. 

Automate Savings 

Make saving a priority by automating your savings contributions. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings and/or investment accounts each month.  If putting $20 or so aside every week seems overwhelming, start a daily challenge with a nickel. Deposit $.05 into your savings account, then $0.10 then $0.15, and so on, until you hit $18.40. Believe it or not, you will have at least $3,300 by the end of the challenge, or even more if you use a high-yield savings account. 

Track Your Progress 

Keep track of your progress as you work towards your financial goals. Use budgeting tools like the aforementioned Money Management to monitor your spending, track your savings, and see how you’re progressing towards your goals. Celebrate your successes along the way and don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Financial wellness is a journey, not a destination. 

Stay Flexible 

Finally, remember to stay flexible with your budget. Life is unpredictable, and unexpected expenses can arise at any time. Be prepared to adjust your budget as needed and make changes as your financial situation evolves.  

Spring cleaning your budget may not be the most glamorous task, but the benefits are well worth the effort. By taking control of your finances and making smart choices with your money, you’ll be setting yourself up for a brighter financial future.