Seven simple steps to spring clean your finances and focus on the long-term prize

The first step is to sort necessary payments from inessentials. Picture: PAThe first step is to sort necessary payments from inessentials. Picture: PA
The first step is to sort necessary payments from inessentials. Picture: PA
We can all become complacent with our finances, but as with any bad habits, the first step is admitting something needs to change – and spring is an ideal time to give your money habits a deep clean and refresh.

But, once you’ve decided to improve your money habits, where do you start?

Here are some ideas from UK director Adam Bullock, for spring cleaning your finances and taking some steps towards a brighter financial future.

First, have a ‘deep and meaningful’ with your finances

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Get personal with 
everything you’ve got coming in as well as what’s going out. Look at all your essential versus nonessential outgoings and total up what you’re spending on each group. There are apps available which can do this for you for free, if it’s too 
tricky to do it yourself. It might be the rude awakening you need.

Go cold turkey on one bad spending habit

Now that you’ve scrutinised your bank account, you may have found one, if not more, bad spending habits. For some, it’s impulse buying in supermarkets, for others it’s buying yet another dress in the sale. Whatever your bad spending habit is, recognise the weakest link in your bank account and stop doing it.

Once you know what you’re giving up, remove temptation – whether it’s staying off certain parts of social media for a while or resisting clicking on links to “special offers” arriving in your inbox. If you tell yourself it’s only for a short time (to start with) rather than forever, it will be easier to handle.

Shop around to save yourself money

It’s great that you’ve made savings on your nonessential outgoings, but what about stuff you have to pay for each month? Shop around using comparison websites to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your insurance, for example. Can you negotiate with your broadband provider for a better rate? Loyalty doesn’t often pay, sadly, so there’s bound to be somewhere you make some extra savings.

Subconsciously save

Get into the habit of making use of apps and companies that help you save money subconsciously. Certain banks can round up each time you spend. By putting away the odd pound here and there, you’ll be surprised by how quickly it piles up.

With any necessary spending, make sure you make purchases through cashback websites, which will reward you with money for nothing.

Plan for the future

With your financial present sorted, it makes sense to plan ahead. Maybe it means having a conversation with HR about pensions, checking your credit score, making a will, or checking for any tax benefits you’re entitled to.

For some, the thought of the future fills them with dread – this is a good way to start feeling comfortable having conversations you may have once avoided.

Embrace the new budget

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So you’ve sorted your monthly outgoings and found new ways to save. What can you do with these new savings? Perhaps you can put away a small amount each month, maybe you can pay more off your credit card, or even donate some to charity.

Don’t fall off the wagon

It’s awfully tempting when you’ve been “good” for a while to fall off the wagon. We’re only human after all.

But if you’ve managed to save up, now’s the time to visualise the long-term prize. Remember, sticking to a budget and good financial habits should help you to build up more money over the longer term.