3 Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances
Spring is here and that means it is time to start spring cleaning all aspects of our lives, especially our spending habits!
Your spending habits may need a little spring cleaning at this point, especially after the holidays. So while you are cleaning out your closets and organizing your paperwork make sure you set aside some time to spring clean your spending habits.
Here are 3 easy steps to spring clean your spending habits:
Track your expenses – Take a look at how much you are spending on specific items like your cable bill, car insurance, cell phone, entertainment, eating out, food shopping and your electric bill. Track your spending for 2 weeks (a great online budget tracking system is www.mint.com) to see how much is going out and how much money you are bringing in. Tracking your expenses is a great exercise to do every 3-6 months as it brings awareness to where your money is going.
Cut Your Expenses – After you have tracked your expenses, go back and see if there are any areas that you can cut or reduce. Play a game with yourself and see how much money you can find in the next 3 months. Can you reduce the number of times you go out to eat each month? Is there anyway that you can reduce your cable, phone, gas or electric bills? Get creative and see in what areas within your budget can you save.
Invest & Save – Set a specific amount that you want to save each month and/or invest. How much you save is not as important as just simply starting to save on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Figure out how much you can save (even if it is a small amount) and then take action. You want to save and invest (or pay yourself first) before you start paying your bills. The key to saving and investing is to just take action and do it!