Spring Clean Your Finances
Published: February 2018
Author: Bank of England Mortgage Staff
Can you feel it? NOW is the time that you will finally sit down and get your financials in order! People tend to be more motivated in the spring to organize, clean and go through their stuff. So, as you begin to think about all the things you need to do – follow these steps to help you get started on spring cleaning your finances, and feel the relief sooner than later!
Look at the details
There's almost nothing worse than looking over your bank statements and realizing you spent $150 eating out last month. That's probably why so many of us avoid look at our statements at all. We'd rather not be reminded of the wasteful damage we are doing.
Take a few minutes to analyze and write down where your finances are going every month. Write down your household income, your monthly expenses and needs, so you can make the necessary changes.
Cut It Out
Once you have looked at the bank statements and analyzed your spending habits - it's time to detoxify. It will be hard work, but if you're looking to tackle a major life change, like getting out of debt, going to grad school, or buying a house - you need money to make it happen.
Know the Score
Keeping track of your money habits involves more than just combining your bank statements. Understanding you credit score can really help you towards achieving your goals. You want to ensure you are in good standing because if you want to buy a car, home, or do anything that requires a loan – your credit rating truly matters. Your score will determine whether you qualify for more credit and what kinds of interest rates will be attached to the credit you do qualify for.
Find a Side Hustle
If you've been able to cut down your expenses and you're still feeling squeezed, an option is to look for a side gig to earn some more money. It really is not as hard as it sounds, and it doesn't mean you have to march into your boss' office and demand a raise. There are now more ways than ever to use your talents or to make money off the stuff you already own. If you love animals, try pet-sitting a couple times/month. Or sell some of those DIY projects you've been making.
Set it, but don't forget it
You've figured how much money you have coming in and exactly how much you can afford to part with each month. Your biggest challenge now will be to stay on track. Use technology to your advantage by automating your monthly bills or and using an app or website to keep tabs on how well (or not) you're sticking with the rules you set out for yourself.
Ask, and You Might Receive
You should never be afraid to ask for a break. If you have a car, look at how much you're paying for car insurance. It could be worth it to call your insurance company and say, "Hey, I'm not driving as much as I used to because I work from home once a week now." Or, "I have a really good track record. Can you do better?"
Phone a Friend
Let your friends and family know you're trying to spend less and save more. This lets them know that this is a priority for you and can offer up the support you need - or even inspire them to start doing the same. Commit to checking in with one another and offering words of advice and tips! You'll be holding each other accountable and you'll both be that much closer to living the lives you want and deserve.
At Bank of England Mortgage, we want you to be as financially fit as possible, if we can help lower your current mortgage rate or save by owning instead of renting, please give us a call or visit us at BOEMortgage.com.