Impactful Ideas for Spring Cleaning Your Finances
The start of Spring also indicates the end of winter. Metaphorically, this can represent the death of one mindset or habit, and the birth of a new one. Out with the old, in with the new, as the saying goes. Financially speaking, this is also a very good time to do some spring cleaning in your “money house”. Today we’re exploring impactful ideas for spring cleaning your finances.
If the urge to do some spring cleaning has hit, one area you can get a high return on investment is with your finances. While we generally focus on organizing our physical home space in one way or another – the garage, drawers, closets, deep dive cleaning – spending time spring cleaning our finances is just as critical.
Best Ways to Spring Clean your Finances
If you haven’t filed already, this is the time. Having a system in place throughout the year to gather everything needed to prepare your taxes is key.
For years, I have kept a manila folder close at hand-labeled ” TAXES”. Be sure that it’s labeled by year so that you can easily identify where to put your receipts important tax information as it comes in.
Come tax time, it literally takes me less than an hour to prepare for my tax appointment. I add everything by category (i.e. childcare expenses, mortgage principle, interest earned, home repairs, donations, etc., etc.). Organization helps the tax preparation appointment go much more smoothly, as well.
Bonus Tip: For business owners, since taxes are filed quarterly, you can easily use this tip on a quarterly basis to make things go as smoothly as possible. I use and love QuickBooks Self-Employed. It’s very reasonably priced ($5/mo.) and perfect for those with side hustles, rental properties, small businesses, sole proprietorships, etc.)
It has helped me tremendously with tax preparation this year. With all kinds of tips and built-in features, it maximizes your organization and deductions with minimal effort.
It’s no secret that being unorganized costs you money. The result of not having your bills on auto-pay and forgetting that credit card payment? Late fees, interest rate increases, and potentially a credit score hit. The result of spending hours tracking down tax documents? Frustration. The result of not getting all of your tax information reported on your tax return? Inaccuracy missed refund money or worse yet missed taxes owed.
To add efficiency and ease to your finances this year, spend just a little bit of time now in Spring to organize. A set place to file monthly bills, a set time to ensure everything is addressed on time, having everything you can on auto-pay (including a transfer to your savings with each paycheck deposit), will go a long way to create peace and ease for you.
Bringing awareness to your income and spending is the first step to feeling pro-active about your money. How do you know where you stand if you do not look at your bank statements on a regular basis? An easy way to do this is to set aside time on your monthly calendar and honor it.
In our recent Complimentary Podcast Event, every single expert recommended a monthly money date with yourself, spouse and business to review income and spending. Call it what you like: Spending Plan, Budget, Money Date Time. By simply putting attention on your money, you can react as needed, receive feedback on how you are doing towards financial goals, and revise your plan on a regular basis. Without this simple, consistent habit, your finance could be lacking attention and be messy.
If you already do this, kudos! I challenge you to take this time as the seasons change to review what you’ve been working on, how you’ve been able to reach those goals and then to set new ones.
If you have not done so already, you can also take this time to review vendors and pricing. How much can you save on merchant services, insurance, cable, your phone bill or loans by taking just a few minutes to ask for a review and reduction, or shop around. You could find money to help fund your financial goals even faster.
Spring Clean and Plant New Seeds
Just as you get that fantastic feeling after your home is cleaned, or fresh laundry is put away, you will also feel prepared and accomplished with your money house once you spend just a little bit of focused time and energy to tidy it up.
Aside from Spring Cleaning, use this start of the season as a marker to put actions in place that will help you in the upcoming year. I love the analogy of planting seeds in a garden. This is when gardeners are out planting their spring garden.
In regards to your finances, perhaps it’s creating a file folder to throw all of your tax documents in throughout the year. Perhaps it is marking on your calendar a monthly date to review your finances. Perhaps it is finally setting up an auto-transfer from your paycheck deposit into your savings account. Practices like these will help you continue to feel dialed in, rather than filled with worry and anxiety every time you think about your money.
Do you have any rituals for the Spring Equinox?
Do you want help with Spring Cleaning your finances? Contact The Money Boss.
Michelle Boss is a Personal Finance Coach and Certified Financial Education Instructor. She is certified through the NFEC. As a Professional Money Coach, Michelle helps successful women get smart with money so they can grow their wealth and finally feel financially secure. With Michelle’s Group and One-to-one Coaching Sessions, she helps take the Fear out of Finances.