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One Week Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Woman planting some flowersGetting ready to do a little spring cleaning around the house?

Set the broom and boxes down for an hour or two each day and tidy up your finances while you are at it. These seven tips are sure to help you eliminate the debt mites that exist in your finances and leave them green and squeaky clean.

Sunday – Start the week off by creating “SMART” goals. This is key, as you will not have much inspiration or drive if you cannot see the big picture in the end. It is also helpful to ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound so that they are more vivid and clearly defined.

Monday – With your goals in place, consider downloading a helpful money management app or digital tool that will help you maximize your budget or start one. Apps can help you navigate through your budget and make better sense of where your money is going. There are other bells and whistles that come with these programs, such as reminders and notices, and they are very visual. Don’t forget you can access your account anytime on the go with the mobile banking app from Elements.

Tuesday – Kill all the clutter that is draining your wallet every month and cancel all subscriptions and services you don’t use or need anymore. Better yet, take this a step further and call up other services you pay for monthly, like your cell phone, satellite/cable, and internet providers and ask for a discount.

Wednesday – Like Tuesday, dedicate this day to lowering other money-draining endeavors. Dig deeper into your credit card spending. If you neglect to look at your bill each month, now is a good time to reflect and see if you notice anything out of the ordinary on your statement.

Thursday – Now that you have de-cluttered and removed unnecessary expenses and debt, take a hard look at what is left. Create a simplified plan to eliminate your remaining debt. Create a plan and/or consider exploring other sites. A simple Excel document can help with this because of its simplicity.

Friday – Spend time today seeking feedback or getting some advice on your budget and debt payoff plan. Having a fresh set of eyes on your work may help you discover and rethink some of your strategies. In the end, you may choose to stay on the same course, but it will provide you with an opportunity to determine if it is your best move. If you have a spouse or a family, it would be really beneficial that you communicate and agree on the approach together. You may also use a certified financial counselor that can review your plans.

Saturday – Give yourself a shot of liquid capital by having a garage or yard sale. Gather up all that excess clutter around the house and in storage and turn it into cash. If you pay for storage, this may be an opportunity to eliminate another expense and generate a little cash. If you’re paying months of storage rent on a bed and couch that you’ll never use again, now is the time to get rid of them. Or, if you don’t want to have a sale, consider giving it to a charity so that you can help someone who will use it and take the tax write-off. Spend a week putting these tips in place and you are almost certain to find yourself in a better financial position this summer.

This information is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. Consult with your tax, legal or financial adviser before taking any action.

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