Spring Clean Your Finances - Cinfed Credit Union
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Money Matters for Cinfed Members

Spring Clean Your Finances

Posted on May 18, 2020
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Spring Clean Your Finances

By Coach Fin


Do fresh air, sunlight and longer days inspire you to give your home a deep cleaning? This is a great season to dust off your budget and get a fresh look at your finances, too. Here are some tips to make your savings shine.


Learn from your stay-at-home savings

You might be eager to do some retail therapy as stores reopen. Before you hit your favorite shops, take a look at your checking and credit card accounts. You’ve likely spent less money shopping and dining out. Maybe you’ve saved on gas, grooming and dry cleaning.


Take a look at your pre-pandemic spending and saving habits vs. your stay-at-home habits. Make a list of ways you can continue savings habits into the future. For example, you might:

  • Cook more meals at home and take leftovers for lunch when you return to work.
  • Enjoy a new perspective on weighing needs vs. wants before you buy.
  • Consider spending less on “fast fashion” or disposable goods and opt for items that will last.
  • Adopt a low-maintenance style that requires less upkeep on hair, nails and dry cleaning.
  • List the expenses you know will resume and “need” purchases for the coming season.
  • List the concerts or sporting events you planned to attend this year and how much you would have spent on tickets or related travel and lodging.
  • Cancel subscriptions to apps, games, magazines, etc. that you aren’t using.

Once you have a list of where you can save and a plan for where you will spend, stick to your monthly budget. Use the savings to bolster emergency savings, build your nest egg or pay down debt faster.


Clear out debt


It’s fun to rack up the savings. It’s less fun to list and prioritize your debt. But once you do, you can create a plan to tackle it. Make a list or spreadsheet of your loans, credit cards and other debt. List how much you owe, your monthly payment and the interest rate for each.


When it’s all in one place in front of you, it’s easier to see which debts you can chip away at first. The money you save with the ideas above can help you pay off debt faster. If it’s too overwhelming you can look into credit counseling or debt consolidation.


Plan low-cost family fun


Keep up the family bonding (and savings) going with low-cost entertainment. Here are some ideas:

  • Have a backyard campout.
  • Take a hike or have a picnic.
  • Schedule family spa days at home: facials and nail care for everyone.
  • Do arts and crafts together: tie-dye shirts, paint rocks, do paper crafts.
  • Try a weekly science experiment at home.
  • Have backyard Olympics (kickball, wiffleball, bocce ball).
  • Host a game night. Expand the competition and invite friends and family to join you on Zoom.
  • Climb the family tree: dig out old photo albums, home movies and mementos from weddings and holidays gone by.
  • Refresh a room or start a simple DIY project.

Spruce up your outdoor space on the cheap

When you have an inviting outdoor space, you’ll want to be home more to enjoy it. Here are some wallet-friendly ways to create a peaceful retreat or a porch with pizzazz:

  • Bring indoor houseplants outside.
  • Make a container garden of herbs, vegetables, succulents, or flowers.
  • Arrange tiki torches to add ambiance, light and keep bugs away.
  • Hang inexpensive strands of lights or decorate with outdoor candles or lanterns.
  • Make your own side tables or coffee tables out of pallet wood.
  • Revive old or second-hand furniture with a fresh coat of paint.


Shop insurance rates

When was the last time you reviewed your insurance coverage and rates? It’s a good idea to do that once or twice a year. Now is a great time to take a look. Do you need more or less coverage in any area? Are you getting the best rates? Save time and money by letting a partner compare coverage and rates for you.


Shred old documents

Give yourself more space. If your filing cabinets are overflowing, there’s a good chance some of that paperwork can go. Of course, you’ll want to keep birth certificates, marriage licenses and social security cards safe forever. But old bank statements and tax returns from 2002? Those can go. Here’s a guide to what and when it’s safe to shred.


Call or schedule a visit


Keep your budget on track (and avoid late fees) with bill pay online and mobile and text banking. Cinfed drive-throughs and nationwide ATMs remain open and you can make an appointment to visit in person. Learn more about how to stay safe while managing your finances.





CONTACT CINFED

Cinfed Credit Union
4801 Kennedy Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(513) 333-3800
Routing #242076656

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