It’s almost that time of year when flowers start to bloom, the snow melts away (or not, if like us, you live in Boston), and the temperature is just right for opening our windows to let the spring air inside. Many people take this time to do a thorough cleaning of their homes. It’s perfect for leaving the door open while we shake out our area rugs, wash the floors, and clean out our closets. Nothing feels better than a deep cleaning session to get motivated for warmer weather. You don’t have to stop here though. Spring cleaning can apply to your finances, too.
Just as we sort through cabinets and junk drawers and get rid of the stuff that we don’t need, we can review our credit card and bank statements to see what can go. Go line by line and you may be surprised at the things you don’t need to be spending money on. Do you and your significant other both have a Netflix account? Get rid of one and save some cash. Maybe, you’ll realize that the amount you spend on clothing seems a bit excessive considering the fact that you just donated a big bag of clothes to GoodWill.
Gaining awareness on your spending habits can have the same refreshing result of emptying that closet filled with things you no longer need.
Here are a few things you could consider “throwing out” this spring:
- Subscriptions to magazines that never get read- you can read everything online nowadays anyway.
- BarkBox – sorry Buster, but you just destroy those toys anyway!
- Excessive nights out – it’s ok to treat yourself to dinner in drinks on occasion, but you may find that your bank account shows three to four bar/restaurant tabs every week.
- Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime – pick one!
- Cable – with Netflix and other on-demand programming, the high expense of cable is becoming obsolete. Ask yourself, do I really need this?
While you’re at it, consider shredding old statements, and remember that these next two weeks are your last chance to make a contribution to your IRA. Sit down at that organized desk of yours and figure out if you can swing an IRA contribution for the 2016 tax year. And yes, doing taxes is a total bummer, but it feels so good to check that one off your list. Even more so if you know that filing will result in a refund. You could use that money to pay off debt (our suggestion), plan a trip, or buy new throw pillows for your perfectly clean living room.
Springtime is the beginning of new growth. Leaves appear on trees, flower buds appear on the bushes, and the lawn starts to come to life with soft, green grass. Draw a line in the sand, so to speak, and make the changes needed to make sure you can enjoy your summer to the fullest. If you can eliminate some unneeded expenses (and paperwork), you will have more cash in your pocket and less stress weighing you down. Happy spring, ladies!
PS. If your boyfriend stinks, now is a great time to get rid of him, too!