Most of us spring clean our closets, homes, and offices, but have you taken the time to dust off your finances? Here are 11 tips to spring clean your budget:
- Start by taking inventory of your subscription plans and similar expenses. For example, most people prefer Netflix or Hulu to live TV; are you paying for a cable package no one uses?
- Gym memberships – how much are you actually using yours? There are thousands of YouTube videos dedicated to at-home work-outs, try following one at your HOA/Apartment complex’s gym for free!
- Bundle your insurance! You should first research insurance requirements for your home and then determine how much coverage you need, then search for options to bundle. You can save a lot of money by bundling your car and home insurance. Your credit union membership could also save you money in this step.
- Make a menu for the week and meal prep. This will help you save money on groceries and will discourage you from eating out often. After you buy groceries, upload your receipt to cashback apps like Ibotta to maximize money you’ve already spent.
- Plan trips as far in advance as possible. Sites like Trivago or TripAdvisor help you bundle hotel, flights, and car rentals for great savings. If you do everything separately, consider alternatives like Airbnb and public transportation at your destination. Research costs and give yourself a goal. Save a little every month and pay everything in advance for a stress-free vacation that’s easy on the wallet!
- Lower your electric and water bills. If you are a homeowner, bad windows or insulation can make your electric bill skyrocket. A lot of home repair companies will go to your home for a free inspection and estimate, but make sure you do your research.
- Refinance your home. This is a big decision that could save you thousands! How much could you save? Visit the ACU Mortgage Center and find out.
- Set your bills to autopay – no late fees!
- Maintain your car and your home. This may sound like you’re spending more money, but if you wait for issues to get worse, they’ll be more expensive (and maybe impossible) to fix. Pay for an oil change now and save yourself the cost of a new engine later.
- Ditch the four biggest drains on your budget – Cigarettes, lottery tickets, alcohol, and eating out. These are expensive habits that can destroy your budget.
- Check out the LoveMyCreditUnion.org website! Love My Credit Union was made to help credit union members save money on the products and services they use every day. In partnership with Sprint they are currently offering a $100 cash reward with every new line for new customers only! Credit union members receive cash back for every purchase at over 1,500 online retailers in Love to Shop.
Making smarter choices and cutting out unnecessary expenses will have you on your way to becoming financially stable! Are you using any of these tips or have any to add? Follow ACU on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and join the conversation.