Spring is here, and for most people, that means warmer weather, fresh beginnings, and new changes for the future. While most focus their spring energies almost exclusively on cleaning their homes, one of the best things you can do for your bank account, is think about clearing the cobwebs from your budgeting strategies, and make sure your finances are in good health.
Since spring is the ideal time for a fresh start, we thought we’d throw together some quick tips you can live by as the weather starts to get warmer. These strategies could set you up to be more financially healthy by Summer.
1. Keep Track of your Expenses
The first thing you need to do before you can make any positive changes in your spending, is come to terms with how you’re using your money today. This means figuring out how much you spend each day. Keep track of your outgoing cash by adding up every snack, coffee, and bill that comes your way.
You might find it useful to categorise your expenses, so you can separate the “essential” costs, from the luxuries that you may be able to cut back on.
2. Make a Budget
A budget is great for any time of year, but if you’re thinking of starting fresh in spring, then it’s a good idea to sit down and look at how you can cut back your costs wherever necessary. Your budget should demonstrate how your outgoing cash compares to your incoming cash, so you can generate a good idea of what kind of changes you need to make. In addition to regular expenses, remember to factor in less-frequent payments like water rates and television licenses too.
3. Shop the Sales
In Spring, you have a perfect opportunity to reduce your spending for the rest of the year. By shopping the sales, you can stock up on winter must-haves ahead of time, and make sure that you’re prepared when the cold weather rolls around again. Just make sure that you set a budget for how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Sales can often tempt people to over-spend.
4. Stock Up on Frozen Foods
Sometimes, you can save a lot of money at the beginning of the month by filling your freezer full of cheap bulk items. Frozen vegetables are great for stir-fry meals, and when the weather starts to get hotter, you can use frozen fruit to make smoothies for healthy snacks. You can always check out the rest of the supermarket for other bulk buys on things like toilet roll and kitchen towels too.
5. Do Some DIY
If you’ve been struggling to get out and do some pressing home renovation tasks during the colder winter months, then Spring is the best time to jump into action. Once the weather gets warm enough to facilitate outdoor work, you can take the initiative and fix pesky leaks or add insulation into the attic.
The quicker you take these measures, the faster you can prepare your home for the heat of the summer ahead, and the cold of the winter that comes after it.
6. Make Your Own Cleaning Solution
If you are getting ready to do your spring cleaning and you want to make sure you have everything you need to make your house sparkle on a budget, try opting for DIY cleaners. You can make some incredible solutions at home with things like vinegar and lemon juice. Not only are these substances better for your wallet, but they’re also better for your health too, because they expose you to fewer chemicals.
7. Spend More Time at Home
One of the biggest reasons that people struggle with their budget when the weather starts to warm up, is that there are so many fun and exciting things to do. Unfortunately, many of the biggest spring events available cost money, and those little expenses can quickly eat up your income. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do at home to enjoy the warm weather, including backyard picnics, star gazing, and more.
8. Automate Your Savings Strategy
Finally, if you’re committed to starting spring off on the right foot, it’s important to make sure that you can find a way to reserve your cash in a safe place as quickly as possible. A lot of banks will help you to automate your savings with transfers straight from your current account into a savings account. An automatic transfer can make it easier for you to avoid the temptation of spending money you should be saving.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative guest post.