Spring Cleaning: Clutter and Finances
Some of my favorite bloggers have apparently been feeling Spring-y lately. Several of them have posted about Spring cleaning. I’m jumping on the band wagon today with A Slob Comes Clean and The Heavy Purse.
Every Spring I go through the same thing: the itch to get outside and get some flowers, shrubs, etc planted. However, I do not get the Spring cleaning bug. So why am I talking about Spring cleaning? I decided to talk about it in case some of you are needing inspiration to tackle Spring cleaning in your homes.
Most people think of Spring cleaning as a time to move the furniture you usually vacuum around, and clean in those hard-to-reach places, like under the bed. While that is all fine and dandy, I like to think of Spring as a time of freshness and renewal with all new plants and baby animals.
In the spirit of a new and fresh start, maybe you should think about giving not only your home, but your finances and your clutter a once-over.
Financial Spring Cleaning:
- Review your investments and savings:
- Do you have an emergency fund? Not everyone agrees on the need for these, but I’m a believer in them, especially if you are trying to get out of debt and do not want to use your credit cards.
- Are you investing in your employer-offered retirement plan, if available? Again, not everyone thinks investing in retirement while paying off debt is a good idea. My employer has a great match program and there’s no where else I can double my money this easily. If you are investing, you should review the amount you are investing and also the funds in which you are investing.
- After your taxes are completed, you should review your with holdings. Did you have to pay in to either your state or the federal government? If so, maybe you should consider increasing your with holdings. I am not a big fan of having a HUGE refund, but I’d rather have a small refund than have to pay in. Since I had to pay in to the state, I am increasing my state with holdings.
- Review your monthly bills. Can you negotiate with any of your service providers for a lower rate? Make sure to do this tactfully for the best results. You should also consider attempting asking you creditors for lower interest rates. This is something I will be doing soon as well.
Clearing Clutter for a new Season:
- As you perform your Spring cleaning routine, think about taking a few extra minutes (or as long as you need) to look through each of the drawers, closets, etc in the room you are cleaning. You can either glance through looking specifically for clutter, or you can go a step further by taking everything out, sorting and re-organizing. This is also a good time to clean the shelves and drawers of dust, dirt, and crumbs that may have appeared throughout the year (or years, no judgement here!).
- Consider having a garage sale. Sales in my area start mid to late April and continue through early Summer. I am having a garage sale this year and have already started accumulating stuff for the sale.
- Not a garage sale person? Consider donating and recycling your clutter items. You should only put garbage in the garbage. Please consider donating and recycling before throwing items away to the landfill, its better for the environment.
If these sound like big tasks, you can do them a little at a time over the course of your Spring cleaning, or you can even do them throughout the whole year rather than just during Spring.
Are you doing any Spring cleaning this year?
Check out my Pick My Brain page if you need help balancing your budget!
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