First Person: I’m Giving My Finances a Spring Cleaning

Yahoo Contributor Network

Each year, I give my house a spring cleaning. I donate clothing and toys. I wash couch cushions and clean windows. Yet, my house isn't the only area that needs to be organized. Thus, while I'm at it, I have decided to give my finances a spring cleaning too.

Cutting Out Extras

This year, I will be eliminating a magazine subscription that costs me $15 a year. I can look at the majority of this fashion magazine online. In addition, I never had time to read it anymore. Thus, it seems like a waste of money. In addition, since I am able to get free magazine subscriptions, there is no need to pay for one.

Making a New Budget

With the addition of a new little one to our house, our budget is changing. Now, we are allocating a little more for food. For this reason, we need to make a new budget. Due to changing gas and food prices, we can write down all of our monthly costs. Then, we can see where our budget can be trimmed. One way I will cut our budget is to abstain from buying clothing and little knick knacks like holiday hand towels. Typically, I spend about $150 on new shoes and clothing a year. This year, I will be limiting myself to $50. If I feel inclined to shop, I can still earn gift cards through reward programs.

Being More Energy Efficient

I cannot stand wasting money or resources. During the summer, I realized our toilet was running. We remedied this problem quickly. However, last month I realized our electric bill was about $75 dollars higher than normal. I soon realized the culprit was a 1500W space heater that is used in a tiny room without a heating duct. During the winter months, we sometimes forgot to turn off the heater in the day. Now, that I am aware it is costing so much, I am diligently turning it off each morning.

Using All of our Food

Lately, I am noticing that produce in our house is going bad before we eat it. An uneaten apple or avocado can quickly add up to $3 a week or $12 a month. For this reason, I am doing more meal planning to prevent this waste.

Organizing

I frequently cut out coupons and then forget to bring them when I go shopping. Buying a coupon folder will help me organize these items before the coupons expire. I am also going to take advantage of more online coupon programs so I can reduce the amount of paper coupons I use.

By giving my finances a spring cleaning, I can save money and be more organized.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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