5 Tips to Spring Clean Spending
Written by Valley of the Sun United Way
Published on Apr 22, 2014
Parents understand how restoring our surroundings can help bring a fresh perspective for tackling challenges and opportunities. The sense of accomplishment gained from tidying up closets, garages or flowerbeds builds confidence for uncluttering other areas of our lives – like spending.
Fresh Perspective on Spending
When our finances get messy they greatly benefit from special attention, as well. The spring tax season presents the perfect opportunity to evaluate your financial house: where you’ve been, current state, future goals, and what needs to change to get there.
Five budgeting tips for a fresh approach to spending and saving.
Organize your household income and expenses into a monthly chart of recurring or fixed expenses (rent, mortgage, insurance) and variable expenses (groceries, clothing, entertainment)
Determine which expenses are needs versus wants; work to reduce the wants to make sure you meet your needs
Create SMART Saving Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Specific)
If expenses are greater than income, try to find ways to increase income by looking for a job that pays more, pursuing education to change careers or applying for public benefits you’re qualified to receive
Plan to save or invest at least 5 percent of your monthly income
Use these tips to reduce debt and eliminate new debt. Cleaning up spending provides us with peace of mind and the confidence to move toward a brighter future.
For more free financial tips and resources, visit vsuw.org/resources.
Charlie Boyce is Vice President of Community Impact for Valley of the Sun United Way. He guides United Way’s Community Objective to Increase Financial Stability of Families and Individuals. He oversees delivery of Financial Coaching trainings, the West Valley Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Coalition and workforce development partnerships.