As the saying by Erika Oppenheimer goes, “Having a clear mind and a clear space allows you to think and act with a purpose.” This is true especially when you think about decluttering your financial affairs. Once you can clear up any old debts, review and update your budget and plan for the future, you will find that you are in better control of your finances, which will give you a more positive mindset.
Here are some ways on how you can start decluttering your finances:
1. Set, and check the progress, of your financial goals.
Financial goals help you keep track of where you want to be by a certain time frame. By checking in on your progress, you can make tweaks and adjustments to your spendings, savings and even investments.
If you haven’t set your financial goals yet, think about SMART. Find out how in this blog post. You should set short-, medium- and long term goals. Ideally, start by setting long-term goals then work your way backwards.
Setting and reviewing your goals can help re-evaluate your monthly budget to make sure that it’s helping you reach your targets. This leads on to our next tip.
2. Review your monthly budget
Even though some people perceive budgets as a tedious task, it’s essential to have one so that you track your spendings and maybe save some money along the way.
By checking how you are spending, you can prioritise what’s important to you at the time. For example, think about a new school uniform vs eating out. If your child needs a new uniform, you may need to buy that overeating out which may cost more. This applies to eating out, TV subscriptions and even gadgets.
If you haven’t created a budget yet, now is the perfect time to set one up. You can use the MoneySkills App to help you put one together.
3. Review your suppliers/providers and cancel any unused subscriptions
Take a look at your energy suppliers and mobile phone suppliers to see how much you are spending monthly. If you are close to ending your contract, have a look around for alternatives and make a switch if required.
Similarly, make a list of all the subscriptions that you pay for. This includes TV subscriptions; gym memberships; music streaming services and much more. Think about how many times you use each subscription and if it makes your life noticeably better. Could you get away with using alternatives that are cheaper (or even free)? If you can, then maybe it’s time to cancel that subscription.
4. Clear out any outstanding late payments.
Did you know that late payments could affect your credit score?
If you are behind on any payments or stopped paying for a debt, now is the time to clear them out for a fresh start.
There are a few ways that you can do so. For instance, you can avoid impulse buying by making a shopping list and sticking to it; as mentioned earlier or prioritise what you are spending on to settle a debt. You can even sign up for our Payroll Deduction Scheme, which will help start saving, which will help settle any debts.
5. Actually declutter
It’s amazing what you will find when you are decluttering. Sometimes you might have forgotten that you had something which you were about to go out and buy again. Also, any if you have anything that is still in good condition which you aren’t using, you can sell it either in a car booth sale or using online apps/marketplaces. You can hopefully recover some of your initial costs in this way.
You can also declutter your paperwork so that you can ensure that you’re up-to-date with all your payments. It can also prevent identity theft by making sure that you shred all financial or personal documents.
If you have any important documents, you can scan and back them up digitally (and securely) by uploading them on secure cloud-based storage, and an external hard drive. By doing this, you can be more organised and help reduce the clutter. If you feel that you can’t part with your original documents, you can keep them safely away so that it doesn’t get mixed up with other less valuable documents.
6. Plan your financial future and start saving today.
Once you have decluttered, you will have a better idea of how much you are spending and make it clearer how much you need to save to meet your goal.
By opening a savings account with us, you will be one step closer to, for example, going on the big family holiday in the new year.
We hope that our tips will encourage you to start decluttering your finances to help you build towards a more positive financial future.