Do you have the spring cleaning fever like I do? We just got our carpets cleaned and it’s heaven on earth! But we aren’t talking about cleaning your house, let’s take it up a notch on the importance scale and talk about spring cleaning your budget!
Sure sure, I love a dust free window sill as much as the next mom or wife reading this. What I love even more, however, is knowing that our family budget is still on track to help us reach some amazing goals!
It’s scary how easy it is for things to start to veer off course. Even a 1 degree shift in direction can change the destination for a cross country flight. Don’t let these small budgeting disturbances make you miss your target!
- Basics of Our Family Budget
- How to Start a Cash Envelope System for Beginners
- How to Meal Plan for Beginners
- Monthly Real Life Family Budget Updates (REAL NUMBERS)
- Save Hundreds This Month With a “No-Spend” Month
9 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Budget
To help in spring cleaning your budget, here is a free printable Budget Spring Cleaning Checklist. Click the image to download the PDF.
The White Glove Test
Metaphorically put on your white gloves and take a look around to make sure there is no danger of dust left behind!
The biggest danger to your family finances is living outside your means. That means, spending more than you are making. There is no quicker way to financial destruction. The safest thing you can do to check-up on your budget is to compare your average monthly income to your average monthly expenses.
How do things look? The goal is to spend below what you are making, with the ultimate goal to be putting at minimum 15% towards retirement alongside other savings goals. If you currently don’t have room for that, evaluate areas of your spending that can be sacrificed.
Throw Out Bad Habits
Your money mentality is key to sticking longterm to your goal based budget! The way you think and feel about your budget can make or break it’s success. It’s the small bad habits that are really sneaky and find their ways back into your life.
This is exactly why in my online course 30 Day Family Finance Rescue, before we even talk about numbers, you first work on eliminating your biggest financial bad habit!
Even if you recently have eliminated some bad financial habits from your life, use this opportunity of spring cleaning your budget to keep them in check.
Procrastination, time management, overspending, drive-thru addiction, and growing debt are examples of bad habits that need to be addressed ASAP in order for you budget to continue on and successfully bring you closer to your family’s goals! In my online course I walk you through diagnosing each one of these bad habits as well as helping you create an action plan to replace these bad habits with good ones.
Check In On Your Goals
I hope that somewhere in a safe place you have written down a prioritized list of goals you have for your family. It’s always a good idea to check-in periodically and see what progress you are making on reaching those goals! When you’re spring cleaning your budget it is the perfect time to do this!
If you are you’re on track, what can you do to get there faster? If you find you’re falling behind, what needs to change?
Look at any balances remaining on your debt. Look through your savings accounts. Write down the progress you have made! Then set some new goals!
Analyze Your Budget
You will not stay motivated if your budget does not reflect what your family values most? Make sure that your current budget includes financial action steps to achieving your goals!
If you find that you are unnecessarily spending money on something that isn’t getting you closer to reaching your goals, eliminate it and reorganize your budget.
Review Your Spending Habits
Check in by categorizing you average monthly spending. Compare the results to your current budget. Do you need to change any spending habits to reflect your goals?
I know first hand how easy it is to start randomly spending when you start to feel comfortable with your current budget. Things are going good so you don’t see any immediate damage when you do small unplanned spending.
Taking a look at your recent spending trends will help you keep you on track and aligned with your goals.
Freshen Up Your Bills
Sometimes we get so used to certain expenses we might not notice when they become unnecessary and we continue to throw money at that bill. Use this time when your spring cleaning your budget to get rid of any expenses that you are not using or don’t really need anymore!
Sneaky expenses like this might be things like subscriptions to magazines, streaming services, goodie boxes, and even services like cable. Look through your bills and remove anything that might have gotten stale.
Look Over Your Cash Budget
Do you use a cash envelope system? It’s one of the two big game changers for our family when it came to finally sticking to a budget. If you don’t currently use this system and have problems sticking with a budget, it’s time to get started using cash again!
If you already have a cash budget in play, take a detailed look over your cash budget. Are you running short or have a continual surplus in any categories? What needs to be shifted around? Do you have any digital spending categories where you are continually overspending and need to convert to cash?
Search for Opportunities to Save
Take the time to see if there are any opportunities to lower your bills. Don’t let hard work deter you from optimizing your family finances!
One by one go through the bills you have listed on your budget, do research and it might even be necessary to make a few phone calls. Look for current promotions or income based programs and even employment based programs that you might be able to take advantage of to lower your bills.
Remember that even if you are only savings $20-$40 a month, it’s totally worth it! Over a year that can add up to hundreds of dollars saved! Think about the major progress you can make on your goals!
I’m probably the last person on this earth to finally watch the Netflix series “Tidying Up”. I want you to Kondo your budget! Make sure that you are leaving room in your budget for things that bring you joy!
When you are busting your bootie to work towards your goals, it can be way too easy to make too many sacrifices. It is equally important to leave room in your budget for the fun stuff. Maybe that’s $10 a month. Whatever works for your family, but make it happen!
Are you feeling pumped to start spring cleaning your budget? I sure hope so! Print off the free Spring Cleaning Checklist and get started right now! Don’t wait because you will get sucked into a Netflix binge and lose steam. Put your inspiration into action right now!
I would love to hear about what you are doing this week to spring clean your budget! Tag me on Instagram @PenniesIntoPearls for a chance to be featured!
Talk to you soon! Xoxo