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Spring is the time you feel the urge to sweep through your home and throw things out, donate, and deep clean, right? Have you ever thought that it might also be a good idea to ‘Spring Clean’ your finances too? You can even go about it with similar concepts.

Deep clean your finances by looking at what you’re spending, keeping your receipts, adjusting your goals, and reorganizing your spending categories in order to move forward to a better financial future. Donate some of your time to evaluate your budget – alone or with CSE’s certified member financial counselor – in order to throw out your bad habits or simply organize your current financial situation.


Throw out those bad spending habits.

The first place to start when Spring cleaning your finances is by throwing out any bad spending habits you’ve fallen into. The best way to look at where you’re spending is to collect all of your receipts for 30 days. What should you track? Everything…from your morning coffee run, to paying bills, you’re reoccurring subscriptions, even your online shopping habit receipts and so on. Take a look at where you could make better choices and adjust your budget from there. Ask yourself, is it worth spending $5 a day on coffee when you could make it at home for far less? Take a look at any ‘patterns’ and ask yourself, do you need this, could you find it somewhere else for cheaper, or is this more of a comfort than a need to help you mitigate your spending.


Dust off that budget.

Did your planned budget fall by the wayside? It’s easy when life gets busy to ‘forget’ to check in with a budget, but practice makes perfect. Review your goals and examine your income versus expenses to see where you can save more money. If you’re not sure where to start in regards to putting together a budget CSE has a number of helpful tools to help: our Banzai! Financial Wellness Center with calculators, articles, and life-like simulations to help you figure out your budget. We also have our certified member financial counselor on staff who can help you map out exactly what you’d like for your budget.


Revisit your payment management.

Paying bills can be a handful if you don’t keep it organized. Ask yourself difficult questions. Are you making any payments late? How can you fix that? Could you make making payments easier on yourself? Help yourself out by setting calendar reminders when bills need to be paid. Consider setting up automatic payments, or even utilizing online bill pay where you can schedule payments when you’re ready.


Clean up your debt.

Do you feel like you can’t clean up the rest of your finances until your debt is cleaned up? Take a look at your debt and make considerations as to how you can get lower rates, or even pay off your debts. Consider a low-rate balance transfer if you have multiple credit cards you are paying with high-interest rates. Look into options to combine debts via a debt consolidation loan where you can affordably put it all together and only make one payment. Or, you may even be able to look at getting a lower rate by refinancing an existing loan or exploring whether an existing loan qualifies for a rate modification if your credit score has improved since you took out the loan for your debt.


Think ahead.

Focusing on a budget, debt, and thinking about money for things you need in the future might sound like a lot, but it doesn’t have to be. Make saving for an emergency fund, next holiday season, or even a vacation easy by setting up sub-accounts for each category and putting a little bit of money away each time you get paid or when you have some extra funds (like when you start making your coffee at home). Don’t forget that even small steps can make a great impact.


At the end of the day though, it’s on you. No one will fix your finances for you, but remember, CSE is always here to help. It doesn’t matter if you plan on cleaning up all of your finances or just tidying it up here and there. From our online educational recourses to our personable staff, we want the best for you and your finances.


For a quick version of 'Spring Cleaning Your Finances' check out our episode of CSE Couch Chats where we speak with our Certified Member Financial Counselor, Reggie, about this topic!


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