If you haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or seen the hit Netflix series that’s inspiring everyone to ditch their clutter, you may have no idea who Marie Kondo is.
Kondo is a professional organiser (life goals!) whose most famous for her ‘sparking joy’ method of cleaning up.
Essentially, you grab all your clutter and decide whether it brings you happiness. If it doesn’t, throw it away (or donate it, because ya know, the environment).
Just like owning too many clothes or books, your financial health can cause incredible stress and anxiety. Therefore, below are my tips to give your finances a spring clean and get your money in order.
Sort out your credit score
With so many free credit score checkers on the market, there’s no longer a reason to bury your head in the sand.
It could be simple things like:
- Registering to vote
- Staying within under 50% of your credit card limit
- Not applying for too much credit
It may be more difficult:
- Getting rid of debt
- Paying overdue fees
- Removing a CCJ
Whatever you need to do to turn your financial frown upside down, it’s better to tackle it head on. It may seem like an uphill battle, but slowly you’ll start seeing improvements.
Related post: How To Improve Your Credit Score
Create a solid budget
If your finances are getting away from you, it’s probably a good time to sit down and create a budget. The most straightforward way to do this is to open up an excel document (or Google Sheets) and create two sections:
- Money in (income)
- Money out (outgoings)
From there, organise your outgoings into categories (utilities, vehicle, entertainment, loans, etc) to help visualise where your money is being spent and where cuts can be made.
Remember, you should be saving at least 5% of your wages (where possible), so include it in your budget. From there, set yourself a weekly budget based on how much you can afford to spare per month.
Close old bank accounts
I still have two dormant bank accounts I want to close for well over a year, and I’m not proud of it. One of them is a Help To Buy ISA and I own a property, so I certainly don’t need it!
Luckily, it’s getting easier to close your old, abandoned accounts. Many banks offer the service online, so you don’t even need to visit a branch.
Related post: 6 Money Mistakes We All Make (And How To Be Better)
Subscription services always sound good on the surface. Just £7.99 a month?! That’s cheaper than what I spend on lunch a day, sign me up!
However, it all adds up, Deliveroo, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube Red, Apple Music, Medium, Nintendo, the list goes on and on.
Go through your subs and decide what you honestly use and what you can say goodbye to. If you’re not quite ready to unsub completely, you can share the cost with a friend or a parent and reduce those financial overheads.
Consolidate your debt
If you’ve gotten yourself into financial trouble in the past, you may still be paying an insane amount of interest to several companies. It may be worth looking into getting a loan or interest-free credit card to pay off your debt and manage it in one payment.
While I’d never
I’d suggest getting professional advice and make sure you’re still paying your monthly premiums.
Organise your documents
We’re all heading towards a paperless society, but until we’re 100% there, it’s time to sort out that sad little folder stuffed with bank statements from four years ago and bills for properties you no longer live in.
First, shred anything that you don’t need. This might be outdated documents or ones you have a digital record of.
Then, get yourself a paper organiser and divide the rest of your paperwork into categories (bills, vehicle, education, etc.) to make them easier to grab when you need them at a later date.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser, so please seek professional advice when making life-changing decisions about your money.
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