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5-Steps to Spring Clean Your Spending

May, 13 2018 by Katie

Over the months and years, we collect things in our closets and in the back of our cabinets that take up space and never get used! If you are like me, you wonder why you ever even brought some of these items into you home – I am talking to you 48-ounce cup shaped like a shark that my daughter HAD to have! Well, the same thing happens in our finances so today we are going to talk about how to spring clean them! 

Spring clean your finances1. Let's Talk About Auto Debits

Take a few minutes and review your last month or two of bank activity and credit card transactions. What recurring subscriptions or services are auto debiting your account each month? Maybe Netflix or Hulu, Massage Envy, or App/Game charges?

Ask yourself:

  • Do I need this service?
  • Do I use and enjoy this service fully?
  • Are there any other providers that offer a similar product or service at a better price?
  • Is there something I would rather use this money on?

Once you answer the question above, it is time to clean house and cancel any services you aren’t using or enjoying any longer!

Last week I spent about 30 minutes reviewing my statements and made a list of 5 services I don’t want or need. I canceled these subscriptions and saved almost $150 a month!

2. Let's Make a Deal

Now, go through your bank or credit card charges and look for monthly bills where you have a choice in the provider you use. This could include your auto and home insurance, cell phone bill, internet service provider, home and yard care services, and many others.

Ask friends, neighbors, and relatives whom they use.

Research local providers and get proposals for the cost of their services.

Call your current provider and see if they can match the competitor’s prices or offer you a loyalty discount.

Once you have done your research and determined the best value, switch any services over where you could save money.

3. Cure A Spending Hangover

We have all had a weekend or month where we had far more spending than we planned for. Review your bank and credit card history and make a list of all your recent personal spending.

  • Where have you been spending your money?
  • Have you been eating out?
  • Have you been shopping?
  • Have you been redecorating or fixing up your home?
  • How do you feel about the spending in this category?
  • What is the total amount of discretionary spending you incurred?
  • What percentage of your income went to discretionary spending?
  • Did this prevent you from spending money in areas you really desire?
  • Did this spending prevent you from saving money or paying down debt?

Based on what you found in your statements, what changes, if any, do you want to make in the coming weeks?

4. Use What You have

There have been weeks where I have been so busy I didn’t make it to the grocery store and I am always pleasantly surprised at how we make it through the week just fine with what we have on hand.

Go through your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry before you go shopping. What do you already have on hand? Try to plan this week’s menus around what you have in stock. What sat in your refrigerator too long and spoiled (I’m thinking about that rotten produce that got buried in the back of the bin!)? This week, make sure you don’t overbuy at the store.

For years, I always went to the grocery store with a list, but I always seemed to buy more than we needed. Now, I pay $4.95 to have the local grocery store select and bag my items and I pick them up curbside. It started as a way for me to save time, but after a few months, I realized I was saving about 25% each week by not going into the store and being distracted and tempted by all the displays! Depending on your habits it may make sense to reevaluate how you shop. Is it time to shop with a list? Delegate the shopping to another family member? Use a curbside or online service?

5. Out With The Old

Is your filing cabinet bursting open with years of old statements? Maybe it is time to let go of some of the old papers.

Credit Card Statements:
You only need the last month. Once you have reviewed the charges and you receive your new statement that carries forward the accurate balance you can let them go.

Utility bills:
One month, unless they relate to a tax deduction, then keep them for 7 years.

Bank Statements:
Keep the statements and check images for 3 years. If any of the transactions were deducted on your taxes then keep them for 7 years.

Pay Stubs:
Keep them for 1 year, until you get your W2 and confirm it is accurate.

Other bills:
One month.

Tax returns and related records:
Keep for 7 years.

If you want to implement a system that helps you feel empowered in your financial decisions, let me know by hitting reply or booking a 30-minute discovery call with me! When you email me I will send you all the details for my live program, The Monarch Method™.

The Monarch Method™ is a live 7-week program during which we meet weekly and dive into these topics in much more depth. You have full access to me for all your questions during our weekly meeting and by email. The Monarch Method™ will leave you feeling empowered and confident in making financial decisions and by the end, you will have a fully automated system to keep track of your finances!

Click here to schedule your free discovery call to find out more about being part of the program.

"Before I implemented The Monarch Method™ I was in a constant state of “Responsible Anxiety.” Anytime an unexpected expense came up I had no idea what to do! My anxiety left me frozen in place as I worried over and over what to do. Katie gave me the financial skills and tools I needed to feel empowered instead of anxious. Now when something unexpected comes up I know exactly how to take care of it!" -Maria S. Concord, NH

 Remember, The Monarch Method™ shows you how to:

  •  in alignment with your personal values
  •  so that they reflect your vision of financial success
  •  your finances so your bills are paid and you know how much money you have to spend at any given time, guilt-free!
Click here to schedule your free discovery call to find out more about being part of the program.
 
xx,
Katie

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