By Candice Cerro • February 21, 2014
The first day of spring is less than a month away, which for many Americans translates to dedicating a solid weekend cleaning up after winter. Between the repairs, replacements and intense scrub-down sessions, many of us neglect getting our finances in order. Here are some great financial spring cleaning tips to help you on the path to meeting your financial goals.
Speed up your emergency savings plan. According to a recent survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 80 percent of Americans typically make the worst decisions when it involves their personal finances. It is good to have a rainy day fund set aside with at least three to six months’ salary in case something like a layoff or illness happens. For homeowners it’s important to have padding in your finances for unexpected home repairs. Saving can be difficult, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel you’re not saving enough as a little bit each month can add up to great savings in the long run.
Find extra savings on everyday purchases. Cutting back on unnecessary purchases is one way to save extra cash, but there are additional ways to save without having to give up all manicures and lattes. Using coupons and online promotional codes to save on budgeted purchases can help you reach financial goals, especially the large ones like vacations, furniture and home renovations where you can easily save hundreds of dollars in one transaction. Before reaching an e-retailer’s checkout page, check promocodes.com for online coupons. You’ll find online-only deals from brands like Target, Home Depot, Travelocity and thousands more, plus you’re able to compare offers and prices to help ensure the best price possible.
Review your budget and financial goals. Every six months or so it is important to sit down and take a look at your budget. Are you on track to paying off debt? Do you have a big trip or other expenses coming up to save for? This is a great time to see where you are and determine what you need to do to achieve your financial goals. Take a look at your credit report as well and make sure everything is on track and fix any potential errors. There are many free and secure credit report sites like Quizzle.com.
Save on tax filings and review monthly withholdings. Tax season is inevitable each year and with it comes a lot of stress. If you find yourself due for a large refund, consider reducing monthly withholdings on your paycheck to allocate toward a financial goal instead. To save some extra money on filing, consider purchasing tax software and e-filing your taxes on your own as you can save on a variety of programs like H&R Block and TurboTax.
Sign up for online bill payments. Take inventory of all of the bills you pay each month and sign up for online bill payments when available. You can save money on postage and envelopes and avoid late fees by having automatic payments set up. This is especially great for those who are more forgetful as they’ll never miss a payment again. Paying bills online will also eliminate trash and clutter which helps traditional spring cleaning goals as well.
Candice Cerro Candice Cerro is passionate about never paying full price for anything and wants to help as many people as possible achieve the same goal. When she's not not searching for the best deals online, she can found running in half marathons, reading, and spending time with her family.