Hello, Happy People!
Today, let’s talk about cleaning. Though probably one of my least favorite subjects – an organized mess is a work for genius, no? – it is time for all of us to do some Spring Cleaning for our finances sake (me included). It’s time to clean, simplify, and organize. And heck, if we light a fire under our own behinds, maybe this could cross over into every day life! (maybe)
1. Gather all of your bills, statements, and pay stubs (medical, banking, or otherwise) into one area. It can be a binder or a box. I wouldn’t suggest a drawer. I have tried that and it is still a disheveled mess. If you are feeling up to it – and TRULY, it will only help – make a tab for each type of bill, OR a tab for each month.
If you are feeling a little frisky, scan all your documents into the computer! Insert: oohs and aahs!
2. If you haven’t already, sign up for online billing and bill pay to as many places as you can. Not only is this environmentally friendly, it is also more efficient and will prevent the loss or delay of a bill or payment in the mail. Plus, you can sign up for bill pay reminders or automatic withdrawals. Just keep track of what is being pulled out of your account ALWAYS, and make sure no one is shafting you!
3. Resolve to spend less. Do you really NEED to eat lunch out 3 days a week? Are you close enough to work to ride a bike or walk? Can you take shorter showers and unplug/turn off electronics when they are not in use? Do every little thing you can to slice spending.
However, don’t forget about living, fun, or yourself. Just cut spending in other areas so that you can save up for that night out on the town, or retirement even! I know I have been stashing money for travel, and boy does it add up!
4. Budget. Budget. Budget.
I cannot stress this enough. And honestly, once you get the hang of it, the stress of money will wash away and you will wonder why you never did it in the first place. Create multiple checking accounts, or use an envelope system; whatever you feel is right for you. It will take a couple of months testing the waters to see how much you should budget for each area of your life. Some examples include: Loans, Car, Food, Entertainment, Phone.
Just do it.
5. Another “just do it” item? Sell your crap! And guess what? This crosses over into the TRUE Spring Cleaning. I just helped drive 3 car loads of clothes to my friend’s new home. The problem? 2/3 of the cars were solely filled with her clothes! If you are strapped for cash or want a little extra spending money, sell gently used clothing. There is a multitude of avenues: online swap shops, craigslist, ebay, garage sales, friends. You can even donate them for a tax deduction (just make sure you get a receipt)!
This applies to many items: too many dishes, picture frames, purses, scrapbooking supplies, electronics in good condition? Just put a little effort into cleaning them up, putting the word out, and parting ways.
Dreaming about the day when you can have your finances in order can really bring your mood down, stress you out, and take up a lot of your precious time. With a little organization and a lot of will power (YOU can do it, Water Boy!), get yourself in check, and get HAPPY!
I know I am 🙂
❤ The Roamin Twin