Spring Fling: Top five ways to spruce up your finances
With spring officially in full swing, there has never been a better time to spruce up your finances. You’re no longer in the shadow of the festive period, your routine is beginning to change and the new tax year is just around the corner. It’s a chance to fix those bad money habits and make a sturdy plan that will benefit you in the long run.
Everything changes in spring – the nights grow lighter; flowers blossom and the new beginnings flow freely in the air – making now the perfect opportunity not just to spring clean your wardrobe but your finances too.
We’ve assembled the top five ways for those looking to prune their money weeds and show that your finances too can bloom.
1. Bin those bad spending habits
There’s no denying that everyone naturally develops bad habits over time and spring is an excellent time to declutter your expenses. Organising your finances and ditching what you don’t need is always the best place to start. For the most part, people’s spending is dependent on their routine. For example, you might always have a takeaway on a Saturday, or you always meet your friends for drinks on a Tuesday. Gather all your bills and statements together and look for spending patterns that could be avoided or altered to suit your budget better. Reducing any outgoings that you can is a great way to save you money for the future.
2. Planning makes perfect
When spring hits, many people look to their garden – planting the seeds of things to come. Your finances play a huge part in planning your future, whether it’s preparing to start a family, buying a house or even readying yourself for that much-awaited retirement. Creating a financial plan and laying out your goals helps keep you on the right path and allows your future to blossom in front of you. Understandably, your life will change as it goes on and having a solid plan allows for you to grow with those changes.
3. Budding budget
Budgets are hard to stick to, bills often change and expenditures pop up when you least expect it, but it can be the best device to plow your way through your financial struggles. Much like a financial plan, a budget allows you to be organised in your spending and they often work hand in hand to help you achieve your goals. Maintaining a stable budget allows you to control your money, so set some time aside each month to write one out – it might be the difference between struggling to get to the end of a month and sitting comfortably.
4. Shiny savings
Creating a plan and staying within a budget is all well and good, but it’s important to remember to save as well. Saving is what can allow you to achieve your goals, and they need as much attention as that wardrobe clear-out you’re planning. It’s worth checking with your bank at the beginning of the new tax year for deals on saving accounts or ISAs that will offer you good interest rates, although it is worth keeping an eye on it as it may drop after a certain period of time. Working your savings into your budget is one of the best ways to keep track of how much you put away each month.
5. Dust off your debts
Being in debt is like keeping a hold of that top you’ve had for ages that no longer fits you, but you keep it anyway in the hope that one day it will. Debts end up limiting sections of your budget and you can end up feeling like they grow just as wild as the weeds down the bottom of your garden. It’s important to remember to be sensible when working out your money, so try and work out a payment plan that is reasonable and realistic for your current situation. If possible, work your arrears into your bills to allow you to pay back your debt a little bit at a time.
Spring cleaning isn’t for everyone but tidying up your finances can be. If you are struggling with money or need some advice on dealing with debts, contact us today and speak to one of our experienced advisors on 0808 2234 102.