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We all have our annual rituals. Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, and so on. While most of them are about celebrating, some of them are purely practical, such as the spring clean. Well, now it’s time to take a spring clean to your finances. At the beginning of every tax year, a “money day” can help you tidy up your budget, save money, and make real progress on your financial health. Here are five things you should spend money day doing.
Tidy the paperwork
We all pick up the pieces of paper, the bills, receipts, and so on, that we think are important at the time, but we end up holding onto them for too long. Setting up a proper filing system, as shown at The Guardian, can help you better manage all that paperwork. You can sort the important documents, like tax returns, ongoing insurance agreements, and annual bank statements, while getting rid of the clutter like monthly statements, utility bills over two years old, and so on.
Make your budget
How much you have coming in can change from year to year, as can your expenses, so you should renew your budget each year, too. Take a look at the bank statements for the past three or four months and find out how much you’re spending on rent/mortgage, bills, discretionary purchases, and so on. From there, you can figure out how much money you can really spare each month and find out some of the habits holding your finances back.
Sacrifice those subscriptions
A closer look at your bank balance can highlight some subscriptions you’re paying for but not using anymore, too. Amazon, Netflix, Audible are some examples of costs that you might forget. If you use them, feel free to keep them. If you don’t, now’s the time to cancel.
Weigh up your options
In the next year, think about which insurance agreements are about to expire or auto-renew. Take a look at your existing agreements, then do some research on the market with the help of sites like One Sure Insurance. Even if you go with the same provider, you might be likely to renegotiate yourself into a better deal. This is especially true if your “new customer” bonus has run out.
Plan your goals
Your budget will help you identify how much wiggle room you have for savings in your day-to-day finances. Now it’s time to think about what you want to do with those. Set aside percentages you want to contribute to your emergency fund, to building a down payment on a house, on your retirement, and other savings goals as shown at Moneywise. Finding money goals and working towards them is the single best way to guarantee your future financial health.
It can be a lot to get done in one afternoon but setting aside a money day can help not only your household finances; it can make you a lot more aware of your own spending habits and needs. Too many people go from day-to-day without really thinking about their finances. Hopefully, a money day can help you get out of that cycle.