Temperatures are beginning to rise and flowers are starting to bloom — spring is here! This season is also the perfect time to declutter your finances, just like you would your home. The change in season presents an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at your financial situation, get organized, and make some necessary variations to improve your financial health. Here are our tips on how to spring clean your finances.
Review your budget
The first step to decluttering your finances is to review your budget. Take a look at your monthly expenses (using our fillable PDF worksheet as a guide) and identify areas where you can cut back. You might be surprised at how much money you can save by canceling subscriptions you no longer use or reducing your spending on non-essential items. This is also a good time to shop around for better deals and discounts on insurance and other utilities.
Consolidate your accounts
If you have multiple bank accounts or credit cards, it can be challenging to keep track of all your transactions. Consolidating your accounts can help you stay organized and simplify your financial life. Consider transferring balances to a single credit card or merging your bank accounts into one. If you’re looking to consolidate credit cards or debt, consider one of our four credit card options that offer low rates and extra benefits.*
Check your credit report
Your credit score plays a crucial role in your financial health, and it’s essential to check your credit report regularly to ensure that it’s accurate. You can request a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year. Review your report carefully and dispute any errors that you find.
Is your credit score on the low side? We’re here to help! Read our blog post on ways to improve your credit score.
Develop a savings strategy
The first step in developing a savings strategy is to set specific financial goals and determine how much you need to save each month to achieve them. Next, automate your savings by setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck or scheduling recurring transfers from your checking account to your savings account. You can also consider using a budgeting app or tool to help you track your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back to free up more money to save.
Related Article: Viral Money Challenges That Help Build Your Savings
The benefits of spring cleaning
By decluttering your finances, you can enjoy immediate financial benefits. Here are some benefits you can expect to see:
- Reduced Stress: Financial stress is a common problem that many people face, and it can have a significant impact on your mental health. By decluttering your finances and getting organized, you can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
- Increased Savings: When you reduce your expenses and sell unwanted items, you’ll have more money to save or invest. Even small changes in your spending habits can add up over time and help you achieve your financial goals.
- Improved Credit Score: A clean credit report can improve your credit score, making it easier to qualify for loans, credit cards, and other financial products. By reviewing your credit report regularly and disputing any errors, you can ensure that your credit score accurately reflects your creditworthiness.
- Better Financial Habits: Decluttering your finances can help you develop better financial habits – such as budgeting, saving, and investing. By making small changes to your financial habits now, you can achieve long-term financial success.
Spring cleaning your finances is a simple but effective way to improve your financial health. By taking our recommended steps, you can enjoy immediate financial benefits and develop better money habits for the future. Our representatives at First Financial are here to help keep your finances on track. Call us at 732.312.1500 or stop by any of our local branches.
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*APR varies up to 18% when you open your account based on your credit worthiness. These APRs are for purchases and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Subject to credit approval. Rates quoted assume excellent borrower credit history. Your actual APR may vary based on your state of residence, approved loan amount, applicable discounts and your credit history. No Annual Fees. Other fees that apply: Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fees of 3% or $10, whichever is greater; Late Payment Fee of $29, $10 Card Replacement Fee, and Returned Payment Fee of $29. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a Visa Credit Card and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties. See firstffcu.com for current rates.