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Establishing "Spring Cleaning" Habits for Your Finances

Picture this:

Every week on Sundays you never fail to wash clothes. You know how many socks you have, how many shirts you have, how many jeans you have, how many towels you have, etc. You know where each piece goes and whether it should be folded or hung – and, you absolutely know when it’s missing.

We all have these sets of clothes – they are our “every day.”

Now think the ones that aren’t your everyday. You know… the clothes in the back of your closet. They may even have the “closet smell” since it’s been so long since you’ve put your eyes on them. You can kind of remember what they all are – but you can’t remember all the details.

Usually when things like this happen, we have a seasonal habit that allow us to make sure those clothes are where they need to be – Spring Cleaning!

Sure, we may have forgotten those pieces of clothing throughout the year, but we know come Spring, we’re going to send them off to the thrift store, put them in storage, or actually include them back in our everyday wear.

I love spring cleaning – it helps me get reorganized and be more thoughtful of what I keep.

Because of this, I chose to do my “spring cleaning” every season. Spring is for summer clothes and my room. Summer is for garden and storage organization. Fall is for kitchen and bathroom. Winter is for winter clothes and for closets.

But I go beyond my usual cleanings and organization and add in spring cleaning for my finances as well. Why is this important?

Imagine if you have a regular shirt you didn’t wear for one week, would you give it away? Probably not. But if you hadn't worn that shirt in three months, that would be a different story!

Similar to the shirt, imagine yourself having a gym membership. You wouldn’t cancel your gym membership if you hadn’t gone for a week, right? But if you hadn't gone to the gym in three months, you probably would think about whether to keep it or let it go.

Spring Cleaning your finances isn’t for you to redo your whole budget, rather it’s a time for you to look at certain spending patterns you may have, see significant increases or decreases in your budgeting categories, see what is being prioritized (or what’s not being prioritized) and utilize what you’ve found to make changes to your budget, if needed.

Okay, well, how do we make this a habit?

  • First, carve out time. Carving out time can be tough, but putting in a meeting date/time for yourself allows you to be intentional. Make sure each spring cleaning is three months.

  • Second, focus on finding patterns in your spending or being more thoughtful of purchases. For example, with finding patterns, you may find that something is off or unusual – you may have forgotten to cancel something (have you ever forgotten to cancel something after a free trial?).

  • And finally, don’t imagine this process as redoing your budget, but being conscious of how you’re spending or how you’re budgeting.

Spring cleaning is a nice refresher for all of us. When put in as a habit, spring cleaning may not feel like cleaning but something you just *do*. If you're looking to gain a new habit with your spending and budgeting, consider spring cleaning every month and see where it takes you!

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