Spring has arrived! I can’t believe we are already two thirds of the way through 2021. I genuinely feel like this year has just flown by. With only four months left in 2021, I think it is a good time to take stock of where you are in terms of your finances and goals and make the necessary changes. Four months is enough time to make a difference and ensure that you end your year on a positive note. Here are some things that you can do to “spring clean” your finances and refocus for the rest of the year.
1. Assess your progress
Take stock of where you are in terms of the goals that you set for yourself either at the beginning of the year or throughout the year. Make sure that you recognize the places that you have made progress and be proud of yourself. In the areas that you may have neglected, have grace with yourself and try set a realistic goal that you can achieve by the end of the year.
2. Relook at your budget and throw away bad spending habits
I encourage reviewing your budget every few months but now is a good time to have a good look at it and do some cleaning up if necessary. Maybe the last few months you haven’t been so focused on sticking to your budget, which is okay, but make sure that you try form good habits before the end of the year.
Take your bank statements for the previous few months and track your spending. Highlight the expenses that were not necessary and take note of the amount that could’ve gone towards savings or investments. Now keep this in mind over the next few months whenever you are tempted to spend money on something that you don’t need or that won’t make you happy in the long run.
3. Save for December/January
January can often feel like 6 months when it comes to making your money last. Why not be proactive and try save as much as possible over the next 4 months to make getting through January a little easier. If you celebrate Christmas with gifts, spread your Christmas shopping out over the next few months or look into making gifts (Pinterest is a wonderful source of ideas) – these are just 2 ways that you can take the pressure off your finances in December.
4. Clean out your mailbox
I try do this every few months because somehow I end up being subscribed to so many promotional emails that when I open my inbox in the morning, there are promotional emails for holidays, flights, electronics, clothes, flowers and the list goes on. Take some time to unsubscribe from the emails that tempt you into spending money on unnecessary things.
5. Declutter – sell or donate
Clutter often causes chaos. Go through your house and look for things that you actually no longer need and either donate it, which can be a huge blessing to someone else, or sell it, which could give you a little cash injection to pay off debts quicker or save for January or spoil yourself for reaching one of your goals.
6. Review all short- and long-term insurance
It may seem a little early to be doing this, but I have found that the last few months of the year are generally super busy and doing this kind of thing is usually at the bottom of the priority list. Look over all your different types of insurance – medical aid, life insurance, house insurance etc. and assess whether you need to make any changes for the next year. Often if you want to change your medical aid plan, you need to do so by the end of the year so do your homework now to ensure that you don’t miss the deadline.
Don’t forget that we are always available to assist you with any financial questions that you may have or if you need someone to hold you accountable. Happy spring cleaning and I hope you enjoy the warmer weather!