Spring cleaning isn’t just about sweeping out the rarely-touched corners of your house. It’s about renewal, reorganization, and setting yourself up for success in all aspects of your life, whether it be the cleanliness of your home or the cleanliness of your budget spreadsheet. 

So once the vacuum and rubber gloves are back in the closet after you spring clean your home, pull up this checklist to help you spring clean your finances and ensure that you’re going into the summer of 2023 with a solid base of money-saving fiscal responsibility.

Checklist: Home Expenses

Your home is the center of your life, and likely the center of your budget, too. Homes cost tons of money, so even chipping away at the edges of some of these expenses can make a big impact on your bank account!

  • Learn to read your energy bill: Whether it’s learning what appliances are eating up the most energy or deciding if you’d be better saved by fixed vs. variable rate billing, understanding all the complex language and graphs on your utility bills can give you great insight into how to save money each month. 
  • Shop your insurance: Insurance isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it expense; it’s something that should be cross-shopped before every policy renewal. Doing a bit of due diligence can save you hundreds a year; you just have to remember to do it!
  • Invest in money-saving upgrades: If you have the savings to spare, consider investing in home improvement projects like insulation, new windows, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances that can save energy and save you money in the long term.
  • Manage your grocery cart: Food and drink expenses can eat into a budget big time. From learning how to manage inflated grocery prices or even just turning on the tap instead of buying fancy beverages, it’s often fairly simple to save money on these everyday home expenses. 

Checklist: Transportation Expenses

Transportation costs average up to 12% of the average household income, so anything you can do to save on these necessary expenses will pay off with extra breathing room in your wallet after the bills are paid each month.

  • Resolve to drive less: If you’re able, consider replacing some or all of your car trips with walking, biking, or taking public transit. Not only do you save on fuel and maintenance, but you might just be able to sell that second car and boost your savings with the proceeds.
  • Shop your insurance (yes, again): Just like with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, car insurance can be a big expense. And whether it’s through special safe driver discounts, bundling home and auto policies, or just plain old lower rates from a competitor, it can also be a big opportunity for saving. 
  • Cut down on fuel expenses: Every penny counts, and nowhere is this more clear than at the gas pump. Check around your area or along your commute for lower gas prices, take advantage of gas saver apps, or sign up for your favorite station’s rewards card for little discounts that add up to big savings.
  • Put off that new car purchase: Even if you’re still driving an old gas-guzzler, rarely does the math work out for your budget when you decide to buy a new car. Unless you’re paying car payment money on repairs and fuel, consider keeping it a few more years and pocketing the savings you’d have spent on that new car payment.

Checklist: Miscellaneous Expenses

From can’t-do-without items like cell phones to discretionary entertainment expenses, there’s plenty of line items in our monthly budget that just don’t quite fit anywhere else but provide an overlooked opportunity to cut back without sacrificing our quality of life.

  • Negotiate your phone, tv, or internet bill: You might not be able to negotiate your car or mortgage payments, but telecom services are often an easy target for savings. From taking advantage of loyalty discounts to utilizing auto-negotiating apps like Trim, now’s your chance to claw back a few extra dollars each month.
  • Audit your subscriptions: Just about everything is a subscription service nowadays, and it’s easy for those automatic payments to add up without realizing it. Take stock of where you can cut back and cancel anything you don’t need.
  • Shop second-hand: Thrifting isn’t just a way to save money; it’s also a great way to curate a unique style that nobody else can replicate. But thrifting is a skill, and you might need a little help getting started and developing your 2nd-hand strategy.
  • Have fun with a creative mindset: Entertainment is supposed to be fun, but often it’s the same old rut of expensive dinner, expensive movie, expensive Uber ride home. Break out of the old date habits with creative ideas that don’t break your budget.

Checklist: Preparing for Future Expenses

As the saying goes, proper planning promotes perfect performance. Cutting back on expenses is always a good idea, but learning how to better manage your finances will help set you up for even greater success in the coming year.

  • Build a better budget: A good budget is the most powerful money saving tool in your arsenal. Whether you’ve been keeping a budget for years or never even started one, there’s always value in stepping back and making sure you’ve built your budget effectively from the ground up.
  • Find a budgeting app: Now that you have a budget, it’s time to keep it. Pen and paper isn’t always the answer, and a wealth of budgeting apps are available that make it easier than ever to track your spending down to the penny.
  • Invest in yourself: If you’ve got a hobby you love, there’s likely a way to monetize that to help you supplement your income and savings. It’s not always easy, but turning your hobby into an income is more simple than you might expect!
  • Learn financial literacy from the experts: The world is full of long-running podcasts and insightful TED Talks, and there’s never been an easier time to educate yourself on every aspect of financial literacy from broad macro-economics to the nitty-gritty of personal budgeting.

Spotloan: A Smarter Way to Borrow

Checked off everything (or even just some things) on this list? Congrats; you’ve successfully spring cleaned your budget. But sometimes you need help, even with the best budget and personal finance habits in the world. At Spotloan, our simple online application process can help you qualify for the money you need, even if you have bad credit or need a loan quickly. All you have to do is go fill out our application to see if you qualify, and you could receive a decision within minutes. Fill out our application now!