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Spring Clean Your Finances: Tips for Creating a Budget You Can Stick To

Budget-Smart Tips You Can Live With 

Every year, millions of us do a nice spring cleaning. We wash windows, dust knickknacks, and file away long-abandoned paperwork. This year, along with cleaning out the refrigerator, give your finances and budget a good scrubbing with these spring cleaning tips. 

Organize Your Financial Documents

Unless you’re a filing expert, we all need help organizing our financial documents. Start by setting aside five folders for important papers. The first is for monthly bills, statements, and checks. Set aside the second for investment information, the third for insurance credentials, a fourth for government documents (Social Security), and the last for tax returns. Knowing where these documents are can help you better plan your expenses and budget. 

Buy a Shredder

Depending on the documents, you may be able to shred some of your tax returns, statements, and more. Consult your tax advisor or investment professional to discuss what you should keep and what you can properly destroy. 

Set Financial Goals

As you clean up documents and file things away, work on setting some specific, measurable goals that are both achievable and relevant to your financial life. Good goals include eliminating debt, buying a home, upgrading to a more dependable vehicle, or boosting your retirement savings. 

To start, write down your specific goal. How much will you need to save or pay each month to reach that goal? Don’t overdo it. Be sure the amount you determine is doable and fits your budget. Then, do the math and calculate when you will reach it. Revise how much you put away or pay each month to adjust the timeline. Use our online calculators to help with the math. 

Spend with Intention

Think about everything you buy, even when grocery shopping. When shopping online, take a moment to look around your home at what you already have. Do you need the widget you’re about to purchase? 

Central Willamette CU Quick Tip: According to ZDNet, the average American household spends $273 a month on subscriptions and services. To save money, eliminate any of the video or music streaming services you don’t use. Don’t forget about annual subscriptions, apps, and games. You’ll be surprised by the savings. 

Be Accountable

According to research by Harvard School of Public Health, when family and friends know about a person’s weight loss goals, they are far more likely to succeed. In the same way, sharing your financial goals can help you be more successful — especially when those goals involve other family members.

Start Your Financial Spring Cleaning at Central Willamette CU 

We have plenty of online calculators to help you meet your goals, save for a rainy day, and live within your means. Check out our article about establishing a monthly budget, or chat with a member service representative. We’re available at any branch or by phone at (541) 928-4536.